MIAMI -- The Miccosukee Indian tribe in South Florida says its members owe nearly $26 million to the Internal Revenue Service because of bad legal advice.
The tribe is blaming its former attorney Dexter Lehtinen, who is also a former Miami U.S. attorney. The tribe claims Lehtinen gave misleading advice about whether individual members had to pay federal income taxes out of gambling distributions.
The tribe itself is considered a sovereign nation not required to pay income taxes. But the IRS says individual members do have to pay.
Lehtinen's attorney told The Miami Herald that the Miccosukees are blaming him to cover up mistakes by their own leaders.
A hearing is set later this month in federal court on the latest IRS attempts to obtain tribe financial records.