NEVADA – Review-Journal sues to open HOA fraud investigation’s secret files
Secret evidence in the federal investigation into the massive scheme to take over and defraud Las Vegas Valley homeowners associations should be open to the public, the Las Vegas Review-Journal argued in federal court papers filed Tuesday.
The HOA investigation, spearheaded by the Justice Department’s fraud section in Washington, is considered the largest public corruption case federal authorities have brought in Southern Nevada. A total of 38 defendants, including the scheme’s mastermind, former construction company boss Leon Benzer, pleaded guilty and four more defendants were convicted at trial.
“The scale of corruption in these HOA cases is almost unimaginable,” Review-Journal Editor Michael Hengel said. “Even with dozens of convictions, there is much the public does not know about the scope of this conspiracy, how it could have gone undetected so long and how it could have involved so many people. Many of the answers are in these documents.”
But for a dozen sentencings and one minor player waiting to be tried, the high-profile case is essentially over. Federal prosecutors estimate the intent of the scheme was to bilk more than $60 million from its victims. Read more: