Finally, I’ve found something written by reporter Jeff German to be dead wrong. You’ll think it’s a minor point, but I think it’s huge. However, I still think it would be a sin not to award this journalist the Pulitzer for his stories on the massive organized crime network that stole more than 60 million dollars from Las Vegas Homeowners.
German will think his error is small, but he might even end up agreeing with me. The misstatement is contained in the fourth paragraph linked below. The story is about the last criminal in the HOA swindle being sentenced to three years in prison after the prosecutor asked for 21 years in prison. More horrible sentencing by a Federal Judge.
German’s misstatement is this line:
“Her sentencing officially ends the largest public corruption case federal authorities have brought in Southern Nevada.”
No, this public corruption case is not officially over because the coverup is still going on. And the cover is being provided by a Federal Judge and US Attorneys who are refusing to let the public see more than ten million pages of documents on the long-running investigation. This is the same judge who is handing out tongue-lashings and feather-light sentences to racketeers who were instrumental in crashing the entire Las Vegas housing market. Tens of thousands, possibly hundreds of thousands of Nevada homeowners lost their savings, their confidence or their homes in the 2008 housing meltdown. That was the same time these racketeers were plundering Homeowners Associations across the Valley. That was the same time when stories were wildly circulating that judges and high state officials were involved in the scam.
And now a judge won’t let the public see what kind of information the FBI uncovered?
It’s rather obvious to most observers that 43 people couldn’t steal 60 million dollars. I’d promise to run naked around the Nevada State Legislature at High Noon if those unreleased papers didn’t implicate ten times the number of people convicted.
“Some high state officials and judges might be embarrassed because the secret papers might reveal some bizarre sexual activities by high state officials. It might hurt their families.” Awwww. There was lots of bribery in the Las Vegas HOA scam. Since the beginning of time one of the most effective forms of bribery is illicit sex.
Going one step further, the taxpayers paid for those ten million pages of documentation. Right or wrong, the public deserves to see them and make their own decision. Who has more rights, a few hundred high state officials, judges and businessmen who took part in one of the largest racketeering cases and public corruption cases in history? Or the rights of 300 million Americans to oversee the federal government’s use of tax dollars?
No, this public corruption case will never be ‘officially’ over until a corrupt judiciary recognizes its errors and begins treating the taxpayers with the respect they deserve.
(link to latest Review-Journal story on the last conviction in HOA case)
Excellent analysis, Ward. What’s the story behind the story? What still remains hidden?
Taxpayers ought to be able to know who all the unindicted co-conspirators are. They should know if other public officials were involved. Who are the high and mighty (judges, senators, governor’s office) who were the ones paid to keep their mouths shut, or who paid to keep others’ mouths shut? How was sex or blackmail used to influence public officials? The scheme was far more complex than it seems. I could gather 43 of the smartest people I know and still not be able to steal 60 million dollars. Nevada, and Las Vegas in particular, have a long history of public corruption. We also know that this investigation and trial was a “show trial” as in the FBI anti-burglary sting in Washington DC in the 70s. The feds didn’t have to do any more burglary stings. They just taught local jurisdictions how to do it, and even provided federal funds for them to do it. The feds are now sitting back to see if any local District Attorneys or prosecutors have the testosterone to investigate what’s going on in their own back yards.