Well, the guilty plea was made. Federal Judge Mahan accepted it. No sentence yet. Leon Benzer might be surprised to hear himself described as a mobster, but that’s exactly what he is. He conspired with lawyers, police officials, judicial officials, and state politicians to steal millions of dollars from Nevada Homeowners Associations. That’s called racketeering. You don’t need to be Italian to be a mobster. You just have to have a massive deficit of character.
Traditionally, white collar criminals get about 18 months in prison no matter how many millions they’ve stolen. Benzer has bankrupted an unknown number of Las Vegas homeowners. The damage he inflicted will impact generations of American families. In the end, he made himself a multi-millionaire at the expense of ordinary citizens. He conspired with mobsters and drug cartels in Mexico to hide his fortune. When he walks out of prison he’ll retire to waterfront property in some exotic locale and laugh at the stupidity of all the people he swindled.
Benzer will laugh at the impotent American legal system which couldn’t come close to touching the real scope of his swindle. He’ll snigger at FBI agents who spent years trying to uncover his scam. He’ll laugh at prosecutors and a judge who couldn’t give him life in prison. And he’ll look back fondly at his time in prison bragging to cellmates about how much fun he had doing this swindle. I know all of this because I’ve spent four decades investigating and exposing white collar criminals. Despite federal prison sentences they love what they do.
White collar criminals are addicted to their lifestyles. To the victims it’s devastating. To the mobsters it’s all a game.