Tag Archives: Las Vegas scandal

Las Vegas Review-Journal is Wrong, Wrong, Wrong!

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)




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)



Florida Lawyers Urge Governor to Protect Their Income

You’ve just got to be suspicious when a bunch of lawyers start urging lawmakers to protect their ability to sue builders.

There’s no question that builders need to take responsibility for defective construction. But remember that lawyers automatically take at least third of any money they get from successfully suing contractors. Heck, Las Vegas lawyers were reaping almost 100% of all money collected from builders. That’s why the FBI raided 100 Homeowner Associations and has filed corruption and organized crime charges against 24 people, including a number of lawyers. The Las Vegas scandal is so huge that many more lawyers, judges, and public officials will be charged in future months.

But, in any event, after a lawsuit there’s not much money left to actually cover the cost of repairs.

But lawyers in Florida are lobbying Governor Rick Scott to veto HB 103, a bill that would revise the relationship between builders and homeowners. Instead of allowing lawyers unfettered access to legal fees, a better idea is to work out a state mandate to hold builders financially responsible for repairs, without running it through the financial scam known as “legal fees.” Homeowners who suffer through defective construction need to be awarded 100% of their losses, not what’s left over after the legal fees are paid.

Ward Lucas
Author of
Neighbors At War: The Creepy Case Against Your Homeowners Association