That headline might seem like a bit of sensational hyperbole, except that the story comes from one of the nation’s most respected journalists, John L. Smith, columnist for the Las Vegas Review Journal. I’ve talked about him before, but I don’t remember sending you to his column earlier this year on some bizarre links in the Las Vegas HOA scandal.
As you may recall, the feds have indicted or gotten guilty pleas from nearly forty HOA figures in Nevada, including famed attorneys, a famous attorney/TV talk show host, Nancy Quon, well know politicians and police officials. These are well known public figures, folks! Public figures in the Homeowners Association business. And already federal investigators have talked about organized crime, rigged HOA board elections, racketeering, attempted murder, suspicious suicides, armed robbery, hostage-taking, extortion, bribery, embezzlement from homeowners, insurance fraud. The list goes on and on.
But Smith’s column from May 19th would be freakin’ unbelievable, even as a plot for a Hollywood action flick. Except that it’s real.
This federal investigation of Homeowners Associations is the first of its kind in the country. Yet the feds know of hundreds, possible thousands of cases of HOA embezzlement across the land. It’s long been my contention that if this FBI/US Attorney’s team was planted in any major city in America, they’d find the same kind of corruption. That’s because the very model of HOA management is designed to perpetuate, excuse and even encourage corruption. This is the type of neighborhood management that’s supposed to protect your property values! But millions of homeowners have suddenly discovered that they weren’t protected. They never were.
The players mentioned in Smith’s column are almost impossible to graph out on a chart. But you’d better believe the U.S. Attorney plans to do exactly that in front of a federal jury next year.
As you read Smith’s column linked below, just ask yourself, “What if this is going on in my town?” What if?