La Jolla Indian Reservation

La Jolla Indian Reservation ( / August 16, 2011)

PAUMA VALLEY, Calif. -- A Texas casino development company is suing the La Jolla Band of Luiseno Indians over a gaming facility project that has not been built.

Nevada Gold gave the La Jolla Tribe $1.5 million to start work on a casino.  The lawsuit filed Aug. 5 claims the tribe breached its contract and never repaid the initial investment.

Tribe officials said Tuesday they had not received the lawsuit, but when Fox 5 News showed them with the claims, they quickly denied them.

"The tribe's been harmed more by Nevada Gold than Nevada Gold's been harmed by the tribe," tribal attorney James Kawahara said.

Kawahara said the $1.5 million was spent on environmental studies and to demolish the existing tribal council building in order to make way for the anticipated casino.

"(The tribe) was promised a partner that could help them build something to improve them economically.  Instead, they have something taken away," he said.

Tribe officials said Nevada Gold never received federal approval for casino development, which voided the contract that said the company should get its money back. 

The La Jolla Indians have had a gaming compact with the state of California since 1999, but are one of the few tribes without a casino.

Nevada Gold declined to comment.