With four decades as an investigative reporter, I can tell you a few things about what’s going on inside the FBI investigation into HOA corruption in Las Vegas. First, I happen to know that about half the readers of this blog are federal investigators. That’s not ego, it’s just past experience. So, some of this is written for them.
Second, federal agents are extremely worried about the number of indicted suspects who are getting “whacked.” With ten people under indictment, and four of them suddenly dying, the feds know that a large part of their case is going down the tube. For the time being, those are all being called “suicides” for obvious reasons. But no case in FBI history has had forty percent of its indicted suspects die before trial.
It doesn’t take a CSI-head to know why suspects are indicted early. It’s to make them talk. It’s to force them to rat out co-conspirators. Give ‘em a lesser sentence to testify about the scope and breadth of the conspiracy. And for about a month, the feds were on a roll. But then, top figures in the case ended up being beaten, drowned, hanged. By the way, how does a 57 year old attorney (David Amesbury), who’s beaten to a pulp and both his knees shattered by a baseball bat just two ot three months earlier, climb up onto a rafter in the barn and hang himself? Anybody who believes that one desperately needs some psychiatric help.
Anyway, the feds had two dozen other people right on the cusp of agreeing to work out plea deals by testifying against up to a hundred others involved in the Las Vegas HOA scam. Suddenly those swindlers are clamming up. The feds are promising protection, which absolutely cannot be guaranteed.
Reporters have acronyms for contemptible organizations: NASA (Never A Straight Answer), FBI (Famous But Incompetent). And there’s not a doubt some of those organizations have the same contempt for the news media.
But for the feds to salvage this thing they’re going to have to work faster and harder and forget about offering plea deals to get some lesser player to testify against a major figure two years in the future. It’s not going to happen. This spaceship is going to crash.
The very next thing we’re going to see is the Feebies refusing to release any information at all to the public. Remember, this is an embittered public, many of whom have lost their homes and their entire life savings to these HOA scammers. Shutting down all communication about progress of the investigation is a horrible idea. Homeowners are desperate to get some relief.
The best solution? Recognize that the entire Homeowner’s Association Movement is rotten to the core from Miami to Seattle and from San Diego to Maine. Announce to the world that it’s all organized crime. The entire HOA system was designed to allow racketeering. These RICO organizations have to be attacked everywhere. National legislation has to be enacted to take away most HOA powers. Enact a reasonable Homeowners’ Bill of Rights. Take away the ability for any HOA to foreclose. Ensure that every dispute has an entirely independent “judiciary” which will arbitrate away the small disagreements that turn into huge lawsuits. But most of all get the lawyers out of the HOA business. The current structure is just too profitable for them. That’s why so many lawyers are facing indictment in Las Vegas. But this stench is rising not just out of Las Vegas, but from neighborhoods across America.
Neighbors At War: The Creepy Case Against Your Homeowners Association
This may or may not be in conjunction to this story or blog, but the incident is surely close to home. First off I had gone to the FBI in Honolulu,HI to report an issue regarding Owners of a Property also known as Multi-family housing rentals. Although its a rental and not owned, the situation stands clear. Here I had reported that the Owners of the Property in Waimanalo HI., had in 1999, taken a 3.8 million dollar mortgage bond from the City and County of Honolulu, with the help of a Zoning Commission officer for a another property in Pearl City they wanted to purchase called Hale O’hauoli and filed this property under the City Tax credit program. Then about a year later or so, had filed for a Federal Grant for almost the same amount for the same property, and upon their application did not state they had acquired a Mortgage Bond loan from the City for the same amount.
From 1999 to 2004, they used 2 licensed property management Co’s., in 2004 they brought in their own Property Management related to them by Marriage unlicensed in the State of Hawaii under the former Real Estate Brokers license and operated fully till 2008 when I had gotten Injured on the property and found them to be unlicensed, that’s where I started the investigation on my own and found out who the owners were and what the owners had gotten back in 1999 to 2004. The Property Management was not only unlicensed but the Property manager as well, and its employee’s who did the maintenance work on the premises. So, where did it go ?..the State’s RICO, had a hearing before the board, 2009 Nov after I filed the lawsuit in 2008 against the property management, and found out later after the hearing with the REB that the State REB allowed the Owners of the Property to use their own Attorney to represent the Property Management at the hearing for unlicensed activity, while they had already retained an Attorney for the lawsuit and had not notified the REB that an injury occurred during their violation period, and that they had hired another Attorney for a lawsuit pending trial, who was not notified by the Property Management they were fined by REB for their violation. In fact, the Attorney for the case in Court admitted he didn’t know either, simply by filing a summary of Cost and Attorney fee’s on a listing within his brief and actually listed his email to the Property Management requesting information on their unlicensed activity after the REB hearing when I had exposed it in Circuit Court during argument in 2010. Only then, did he know that the Property Management was unlicensed and had not informed him they were held liable to violations and fined. Pretty much the laws need to be a lot more strict where Mainland Businesses try their hand at being corrupt in Hawaii. Especially in Real Estate and Property Ownership.
Now here’s the big question, the City council members allowed the Zoning Board member to assist the Owners of the Property in 1999, Corrupt or not ?. Secondly, what happened to the 3.8 Million ?, and why would they need a Federal Grant for 3.8 million ? for the same property.
especially if one Property in Waimanalo is under the State Tax credit, and the other in Pearl City is under the City Tax credit programs.
Finally, the Owners using an unlicensed Property Management related to them by marriage to oversee other properties they owned, especially the one in Pearl City, Hale O’Hauoli. Is this the next John Ford case ?..
let’s see if it is.
All excellent points, especially your last one. That fix may have to come through a high court ruling that HOAs are, indeed, de facto governments, subject to Constitutional rule.
Now how about some other suggestions, possibly involving financial incentives for HOAs that keep their members out of court?