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.
It’s another sad day for Nevada homeowners. Federal Judge James Mahan has given another one of the Las Vegas HOA swindlers a sissy sentence. Organized crime swindler Charles McChesney was sentenced to 30 months in federal prison. Ultimately, he’ll only spend 15 months there.
Homeowners in Nevada lost untold millions of dollars when this crime ring ripped off Homeowners Associations all across the valley. They’ll never get a dime of that back. This was a vicious financial crime that completely changed the lives of many decent working and/or retired people. To give these swindlers only 30 months is a crime in itself. Even though only a dozen Homeowners Associations were named as victims in the case, inside information says there may have been hundreds more.
OK folks! I’ve been an investigative reporter for forty years. And during that time thousands upon thousands of documents have been released to me. Oh, there’ve been two or three that were held back, but always because of some extraneous circumstance usually relating to a name a prosecutor or a judge wanted held back for personal or political reasons. And we usually found a higher judge who ordered the documents released.
Dang, I hate using that word. But like the so-called ‘n-word’ it’s bandied about freely in Homeowners Associations. Most HOAs have long-existing deed restrictions which prohibit sales of homes to minorities. Those restrictions, of course, have long been outlawed by the U.S. Supreme Court, but does that stop discrimination? If you think so, you’ve gotta be kidding yourself.
A gay couple in the Monte Sereno Homeowners Association in Palm Springs is being targeted for ‘special’ treatment. One of them, Ken Seeley, is a star on the A&E show, ‘Intervention.’ Once or twice a month he has friends and co-workers over to watch the show. The HOA now says those gatherings are ‘business related’ and home businesses are outlawed by this HOA.
Egads, I thought white collar organized crime figures averaged at least 18 months in prison. Now I’m the one who looks totally stupid. My deepest apologies to those of you I unintentionally deceived.
But Federal Judge Mahan in Las Vegas keeps handing down kindergarten sentences to the organized crime figures who stole millions and millions of dollars from Las Vegas homeowners. Kindergarten sentences: You know, “Go stand in the corner for ten minutes, Billie. You’re a bad, bad boy!”