NEVADA – Delay sought for HOA fraud trial
Defense lawyers for the six defendants charged in the massive scheme to take over homeowners associations, including alleged mastermind Leon Benzer, have asked to delay the Oct. 14 federal trial up to six months. This is the fourth request to postpone the high-profile case since Benzer and the other defendants were indicted by a federal grand jury in January 2013. This time the lawyers said in court papers late Tuesday that the delay is needed because federal prosecutors found 87,000 pages of new documents that must be turned over to the defense through a complicated electronic process.
“Undersigned counsel have attempted to diligently prepare for trial,” the lawyers wrote. “The learning curve in utilizing the database, the volume of the discovery materials and the most recent discovery of 87,000 pages of new material have made preparation for trial on the currently scheduled date impossible.” The lawyers asked U.S. District Judge James Mahan to set a new date in either March or April. Mahan set a Sept. 16 hearing to consider the delay.
Justice Department lawyers have previously turned more than three million pages of documents in the long-running HOA investigation, which became public in September 2008, when FBI agents and Las Vegas police raid locations across the valley. Prosecutors have alleged that 11 HOAs were defrauded of millions of dollars in the scheme between 2003 and 2009. Read more: