NEVADA – Las Vegas Review Journal Editorial: Release HOA fraud documents
You’d think the federal government was prosecuting terrorists. Or hiding the existence of aliens. Or prosecuting hidden alien terrorists. But the alarming secrecy surrounding one of the biggest and most complicated criminal cases in Southern Nevada history had nothing to do with national security or saving the world.
It was a fraud case involving homeowner associations. The scope of fraud committed by more than 40 defendants was staggering, to be sure, but an estimated $60 million conspiracy isn’t enough to justify slamming the courthouse doors on the press and the public for years and years.
The case, which covers crimes that took place more than a decade ago, finally is over. Four people were convicted at trial and 38 others pleaded guilty. A few sentencings remain. The evidence used to leverage so many convictions has been locked up longer than most of the defendants ever will be.
It’s time to find out exactly what they did. The Las Vegas Review-Journal filed papers in federal court Tuesday to make public the millions of documents the Justice Department, the court and defense attorneys kept secret for so long.
“Now that the charges in this case have all been resolved, the First Amendment and common law rights of the press and the public to access the courts and trials carried out in those courts demands that these documents and hearings be unsealed, and the protective orders entered in this case be dissolved,” Review-Journal attorney Maggie McLetchie wrote in the court papers. Read more: