Nevada Judge Finally Shows Some Guts

Well, good old Las Vegas mobster Leon Benzer has finally met justice in his plan to steal millions and millions of dollars from Homeowners Associations. Not much justice, but at least federal judge James Mahan has now sentenced Benzer to 15 1/2 years in federal prison. With ‘good time’ he may end up spending seven years behind bars. Most of his 38 co-conspirators in the massive scam to take over Las Vegas Homeowners Associations got probation to a year-and-a-half in prison.

Of the other conspirators, a number have died, some of them by suicide. Benzer was the last to be sentenced in the long-running case.

How much did Benzer steal from homeowners? Untold millions. But this gangster’s damage has ripples that will go on forever. Home values in Las Vegas crashed, people lost their homes and all their retirement savings. Foreclosures spiked because so much money was bled out of HOAs. Investigators have said Benzer & Company actually stole somewhere beween 60 and 100 million dollars from homeowners.

But get ready for the real story: It hasn’t happened yet. Leon Benzer is very familiar with Mexico. A ton of money he stole ended up in a Mexican resort. There are links in the HOA investigation to a Mexican drug cartel. Benzer once owned his own Mexican tequila company. He doesn’t have to report for prison until November 6th. As fundamentally corrupt as this piece of trash is, what would stop him from crossing the border? Oh, that’s right. He might not be able to get across the ‘border fence.’

We’ll see.

(BTW, Benzer reads this website! How’s it goin’ Leon?)

(link to Las Vegas Review-Journal story on Benzer’s sentence)


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Ward Lucas is a longtime investigative journalist and television news anchor. He has won more than 70 national and regional awards for Excellence in Journalism, Creative Writing and community involvement. His new book, "Neighbors At War: the Creepy Case Against Your Homeowners Association," is now available for purchase. In it, he discusses the American homeowners association movement, from its racist origins, to its transformation into a lucrative money machine for the nation's legal industry. From scams to outright violence to foreclosures and neighborhood collapses across the country, the reader will find this book enormously compelling and a necessary read for every homeowner. Knowledge is self-defense. No homeowner contemplating life in an HOA should neglect reading this book. No HOA board officer should overlook this examination of the pitfalls in HOA management. And no lawyer representing either side in an HOA dispute should gloss over what homeowners are saying or believing about the lawsuit industry.

1 thought on “Nevada Judge Finally Shows Some Guts

  1. Pingback: Kingpin of NV HOA fraud scheme sentenced to 15 1/2 years | Independent American Communities

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