As a former investigative reporter I always hated it when some nameless bureaucrat failed to obey federal law and turn over documents under the Freedom of Information Act. They ALWAYS stall. In doing so they ALWAYS break the law. Many times I went behind the bureaucrats’ back and asked a buddy to ‘leak’ the requested information to me. Then to mess with their heads I often sent a letter of demand to the agency in question asking for all documents related to how the agency had handled my first demand under the Freedom of Information Act. They’re bureaucrats. They’re arrogant. Some are lazy. Some just aren’t that bright. And sometimes they screw up and end up giving me the documents they were required by law to turn over in the first place.
That said, reporters and lawyers for the Las Vegas Review-Journal are doing their job at getting their hands on documents in the FBI’s long-running investigation into the slimy, organized crime ring involving HOA scammer Leon Benzer and his private Mafia of three dozen cops, lawyers, businessmen and HOA management companies who tried to take over Homeowners Associations in The Valley.
Now, Federal Judge Mahan has seen the light and has unsealed quite a number of documents in the FBI’s biggest Las Vegas scam in the state’s history. It’ll take the reporters a long time to sift through the millions of documents. But this is the only news agency in the country that has taken HOA crime seriously and has doggedly pursued these monsters.
I’m still a bit unsettled that out of forty or so cases of bald faced lying and swindling only one guy got significant time. And I still think he’s making travel arrangements to Mexico so he’ll never spend a day in prison. Trust me. This guy is working on it.