Tag Archives: FBI

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)


Pathetic Excuse for a Judge

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.

The FBI generated about four million pages of evidence and testimony. Had the investigation exposed the entire Nevada scam the evidence could have run into the hundreds of millions of pages.

Think of this: If crooked HOAs and management companies across the country were put through the same kind of investigative scrutiny there would be millions of convictions. There just aren’t enough prisons to hold everyone.

Yes, it’s a sad day for Nevada. But it’s even sadder for the rest of the country.

(link to Review Journal article on the prison sentence)

Wild Corruption In Nevada!!!

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.

But Damn it! Political reasons don’t apply here! Personal reasons don’t apply.  Nevada homeowners lost hundreds of millions of dollars when this organized crime ring crashed Homeowners Associations all over Nevada. Property values there still haven’t recovered. It wasn’t just a few dozen homeowners who were hurt in this monstrous scam. Millions were hurt. Taxpayers paid for this years-long investigation. Families went broke. Many lost their homes. Lives were lost. People killed themselves.

Who are you trying to protect by illegally keeping these files secret? A scummy judge who was able to escape indictment? Perhaps a scummy bigtime politician who, with his son, have become multi-millionaires investing in phony land deals based on illegal insider knowledge about housing trends in Nevada?

You found 100 “people of interest” in this case, but didn’t prosecute them because you thought it would be too expensive? Isn’t that a sneaky way of letting your friends and political boosters off the hook? Wouldn’t a thorough vetting of this whole slimy affair be a way for you to crawl out this greasy morass?

Federal Judge Mahan, there’s a lot you ought to be ashamed of including the awesome lack of meaningful prison time you handed out to these mobsters.

Now, you should be ashamed of letting your political cronies talk you into not releasing documents that you feel might shame your pathetic state and your miserable bench even further. I’ve learned over the years that when something doesn’t smell right, you start looking for the source. Something real close to where you’re standing, Judge Mahan, doesn’t smell just right.

(crooked lawyer gets ten years for swindling homeowners)



“Frickin’ Faggots!”

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.

Now, the Monte Sereno board has deactivated Seeley’s transponder to the community gate so he can’t let his friends in.

The arrogance never stops, does it?

(link to story about A&E star)


More Stupid Sentences in Las Vegas

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!”

Officially, these criminals stole only 7 million dollars in their HOA scam. Ultimately, history will tell you they stole more than 100 million dollars. And the Las Vegas housing market may never recover. In fact, with the recent Nevada Supreme Court decision that HOA liens are super-priority liens which can cancel the original mortgage loan, the lending market is refusing to lend ANY money to a home in a homeowners association. That means thousands, maybe tens of thousands of Nevada homes are sitting empty. They’re unsalable. The ongoing crime is the one committed by this federal judge!

Some of the worst criminals are being sentenced to one year and one day, like this cop:

(former las vegas cop gets short prison term)

Others are being sentenced to a few months of home detention. (Gosh, I’m at home taking care of an ill wife. That’s home detention and I didn’t steal anything!)

Meanwhile, the Las Vegas housing market is in a free fall.

(las vegas housing free fall)
(this link is a little wackier, but still probably 90% correct.)