Las Vegas – Federal prosecutors are fighting to keep secret the mass of evidence in the long-running investigation into the scheme to take over and defraud homeowners associations.
Lawyers with the Justice Department’s Fraud Section in Washington filed court papers late last week opposing the Las Vegas Review-Journal’s request to dissolve two protective orders that withhold documents in the high-profile case from the public.
Attorney Maggie McLetchie, representing the newspaper, argued in court filings June 9 that the public has a right to see the evidence, most of which has long ago been turned over to defense lawyers. With most of the 42 convicted defendants sentenced, the epic case is essentially over.
Former construction company boss Leon Benzer orchestrated the scheme, which occurred between 2003 and 2009, to gain control of a dozen HOAs through rigged elections. The goal was to get the boards to sued contractors and then funnel multimillion-dollar contracts to do construction-defect repairs to his company.