How bad does a lawyer have to be to get five or six years in prison? If he’s stolen millions of dollars, if he’s got more bar complaints against him than any other lawyer, if he’s defrauded Homeowners Associations and other clients, if he’s cheated the IRS you’d think he’d at least get a few decades behind bars.
But lawyer Barry Levinson, who knows the legal system inside and out, put on an amazing performance for U.S. District Judge James Mahan, who’s overseeing that massive organized crime HOA scandal in Las Vegas. Levinson knows the ropes. He cried. He sobbed. He apologized. He said, “I stole from clients. I embarrassed Las Vegas. I let everybody down. I accept responsibility. I’m paying for it.”
Well, no, he’s not paying for it. This guy took part in a scam that will ultimately amount to hundreds of millions of dollars in losses to homeowners. He and his organized crime partners funneled millions of dollars away from Homeowners Associations in the Valley. But this scam has legs. Thousands of Nevada residents lost their homes which are still sitting unsold. Taxes aren’t being paid. Part of that was the housing bubble, but who in his right mind would want to buy a house in Las Vegas right now? Stupid people will, of course. But with the Nevada Supreme Court ruling that an idiotic one-dollar HOA lien against a house can extinguish a half million dollar mortgage, what sane mortgage company would lend money in Nevada? The ripples go on, and on, and on.
Barry Levinson cries a few tears. And the judge gives him six years in prison. He’ll probably get two or three of those years off for good behavior. Unless some angry imprisoned homeowner beats him to death.