NEVADA – Deposition says HOA fraud figure was warned about FBI raids by State Supreme Court Justice Saitta
Nevada Supreme Court Justice Nancy Saitta “tipped off” a key government target to FBI-led raids in an investigation of massive homeowners association fraud, according to a sworn deposition obtained by the Las Vegas Review-Journal.
In the deposition, Lisa Kim, who ran a company that managed HOAs linked to the long-running investigation, testified that the FBI’s target, the late lawyer Nancy Quon, told her about the tip on Sept. 24, 2008, the first of two days of court-approved law enforcement searches across the valley.
“I was literally sitting at my office in tears … and I received a text message from Nancy Quon that said that she had been tipped off by Justice Saitta that the feds were serving search warrants, ” Kim testified. “And I said … ‘They are at my office now. And that was it. And that’s the last time I got a text or anything from Nancy.’”
The next day investigators searched Quon’s office. She did not tell Kim how Saitta — who has denied the allegation — would have learned about the raids, which by then had attracted media attention.
Quon became wealthy as a high-profile construction defect lawyer. But her notoriety also caught the attention of the government, which made her a top target of the HOA investigation. The case focused on a wide-ranging scheme to take over HOA boards through election rigging so that her law firm could land lucrative contracts to sue for construction defects. Work repairing the defects was then steered to a construction company owned by her friend, Leon Benzer. Prosecutors alleged the conspiracy went on from 2003 to 2009.
Quon killed herself in March 2012 under the weight of the investigation and was not charged. Benzer pleaded guilty last year as the mastermind of the scheme and was sentenced to 15 years in federal prison.
Saitta, who was first elected to the Supreme Court in 2006, presided over construction defect cases while she was a Clark County District Court judge. Quon often appeared before her. Read more: