As part of a recent challenge by the FTC over what it says are illegal business practices by a payday lending outfit with an American Indian tribal affiliation, a U.S. magistrate judge has issued a report clarifying the agency's authority to file suit against Native American tribes as well as their employees and contractors. A number of defendants taken to court by the FTC -- most recently, AMG Services -- have argued that their ties to tribes frees them from compliance with the federal FTC Act, Truth in Lending Act, and the Electronic Fund Transfer Act. The FTC has countered that although the FTC Act does not specifically refer to tribal entities, there is precedent in the Ninth Circuit and Supreme courts that "statutes of general applicability that are silent on tribal issues presumptively apply to tribes and tribal businesses." The magistrate judge agreed, confirming that the FTC's consumer protection laws do in fact convey to businesses even if they have a tribal affiliation. "The FTC Act has a broad reach and is one of general applicability," the judge wrote.