The four defendants standing trial on charges tied to a massive scheme to defraud homeowners associations of millions of dollars did it for “greed,” a federal prosecutor told a jury Wednesday.
“This is a case about taking over HOAs in Las Vegas and getting rich doing it,” Justice Department lawyer Thomas Hall said in his opening statement. “The evidence will show that all four of these defendants lined their pockets.”
Hall said former construction company boss Leon Benzer “paired up” with the late construction defects lawyer Nancy Quon to lead the scheme, which authorities once estimated had nearly 100 co-conspirators between 2003 and 2009.
Straw buyers were recruited to obtain condominiums at targeted developments and then were elected to HOA boards through ballot stuffing and dirty tricks so they could help Quon and Benzer obtain lucrative legal and construction contracts, Hall said. Lawyers, private investigators, real estate agents and community management firms were all brought into the elaborate scheme. Read more: