Tag Archives: Las Vegas

The Baby Is Sick!!!

I’m late getting this one up on the blog, since most of those-in-the-know already read this in the Las Vegas Review-Journal. But for the record, another of the Las Vegas HOA crooks has pleaded guilty. That makes thirty down with at least eight more to go. Ah, and four suspicious ‘suicides.’ And there’s absolutely no word about the judge or the other police officials who were supposedly implicated.

The latest HOA crook to bite the dust is Las Vegas lawyer Barry Levinson. The Feds got him for stealing a million bucks from his clients, failing to report 28,000 in income taxes, wire fraud, mail fraud, and….oh yes, conspiring to fraudulently pack the boards of Las Vegas homeowners associations with phony members so his organized crime ring could completely take over those associations. Thousands of homeowners got hurt. Many lost their homes. The Las Vegas housing industry went right into the sewer.

Look for Levinson to get an extremely light sentence, though. That’s because he agreed to testify against his racketeering buddies.

PERSONAL NOTE: As a decades-long investigative reporter with CBS, ABC and NBC affiliates in two states, I am personally embarrassed and disgusted at how the national media have almost completely ignored the HOA mob story in Las Vegas. This investigation into the organized corruption of Homeowners Associations, the legal system, the judicial system, the police system is one of the largest organized crime and racketeering investigations in the history of the FBI and the U.S. Attorney’s office. How could the networks overlook it?

This investigation cost the taxpayers tens of millions of dollars and it’ll cost tens of millions more before it’s over. Hold your breath: only 11 Homeowners Associations are named in this investigation.

Folks, there are 335,000 HOAs in the country. Organized crime is rampant throughout HOA Amerika. Don’t believe it? Just google “embezzle homeowner association.” You’ll get 54,000 hits. The search term “homeowner association fraud” will get you almost a million hits. I understand the limitations of Google searches but still it’s mind-boggling. And those terms don’t count a myriad of other types of HOA crimes like extortion, death threats, fraudulent liens and foreclosures and funneling money off to your brother-in-law to cut the grass at the front entrance.

The FBI probe into these 11 HOAs is what’s often called a “show investigation” or a “show trial.” Because of the expense of this eight-year-long investigation the Feds have absolutely no intention of carrying out similar research in other cities. No, this investigation was just for ‘show.’ It’s meant to demonstrate to other police departments that this kind of investigation and trial can produce results anywhere.

Remember that first FBI sting operation in Washington DC back in 1975? Undercover FBI agents set up a phony fencing operation, bought stolen goods from the underworld, then busted dozens of crooks on camera. It was widely publicized and police departments all over the country began doing their own stings. In a subsequent sting in Denver, police even arrested an Army officer, Capt. Gregory Alberico, for trying to sell nerve gas from the Rocky Mountain Arsenal!

But that’s overly dramatic and straying off topic.

The one news agency in America which has been doing an adequate job reporting on the Las Vegas racketeering scandal is the Las Vegas Review-Journal. And in this week’s story, reporter Jeff German actually brought up suspicions about connections between HOA crooks and the mob. It takes guts for a reporter to include details like that. And I’m linking his latest stories below.

German will get accused of hyping this story when it supposedly has no relationship to what’s going on in HOAs across the country. In fact, German is being hammered with comments from readers that go something like: “If you don’t like living in an HOA, then don’t move into one.” You’ll read similar comments on HOA blogs all over. Please forgive people who say things like that because they’re just pathologically stupid.

Again I’m straying.

But permit me just one more bad metaphor. If your baby is running a sky-high fever don’t fool yourself into thinking that the baby is sick only where the thermometer is touching. No, folks, the whole baby is sick!

Yes, the Feds have only gone after 11 Homeowners Associations out of 335,000.

But I promise you, folks: The whole baby is sick.

(link to latest Las Vegas guilty plea)

(link to mention about possible mob ties)


Say It Ain’t So, Joe!

The biggest corruption investigation in the history of Nevada, and one of the largest criminal investigations in the history of the U.S. Attorney’s Office is in danger of collapsing, with four years and millions of dollars of investigative efforts going down the tubes. The ultimate result will be the U.S. Government totally turning its eyes away from one of the biggest and most vicious frauds in American history.

A massive number of homeowners in the Las Vegas Valley have discovered the assets they thought they’d accumulated in their retirement homes were stolen…by lawyers, politicians, public officials, corrupt Homeowner Association officials.

The feds have known about this scam for years. Nevada law enforcement officials have known about it for at least a decade. 29 HOA officials have already pleaded guilty in exchange for their testimony against the bigwigs who rigged HOA elections with phony board members and funneled millions of dollars into private pockets.

A dozen Nevada bigwigs have been indicted. But their defense attorneys are now claiming they need at least another year to prepare a defense for their clients. They claim they still have millions of pages of testimony to examine.

This is the way Organized Crime works, folks. Stall, stall, stall, let a witness die here and there, some by suicide, some by car accident. Let a few more come down with faulty memories, get a few more federal investigators transferred to cushy assignments in foreign embassies, get some different people elected… and your investigation goes right down the toilet.

Did the feds finally get Al Capone for murder, assault, robbery, kidnapping, smuggling, murder for hire? Naw, they got him for a few income tax violations.

Yep, folks. That’s the way it works. Pray this Nevada judge doesn’t grant defense attorneys a year-long stay.

(link to latest Las Vegas Review Journal story)


Rats And Rants At Flamingo Crest HOA

guest blog by Nila Ridings
The rat traps are empty and the board is running from Las Vegas reporter Darcy Spears’ investigative trap!
Forget about sleep, says Kevin Ellis.  The scratching and chewing between the walls is so loud you can’t even hear yourself count sheep.  He’s been fighting this problem for years! Now, he’s cussing because his $200 monthly dues are going to the HOA arbitrator to fight against him while the rats’ feasts are coming closer to his flesh.  
Geez!  Imagine what could happen if they chew through the electrical wiring?  Or the platter of grandma’s homemade holiday cookies disappear in the dark of night right off the kitchen counter?  Where is the health department???
Just another thing to think about with HOA living.  If your neighbors have bugs, silverfish, termites, roaches, mice, or rats they can all become unwanted visitors to your unit via the common walls.

Due Process? Screw Process!

One of my angriest complaints against the HOA movement is the almost complete void of the recognition of this fundamental principle in the documents of a typical Homeowners Association. Due Process isn’t some newfangled thing invented by our nation’s founders. No, the concept of Due Process has it’s roots in the Magna Carta, a document developed by freedom minded revolutionaries who were trying to bring a tyrannical British monarch under control.

So when our founders were establishing the kind of republic that had never existed on this Earth, a republic guaranteeing the maximum amount of freedom to the maximum number of people, they sought to interweave the concept of Due Process into our founding documents. They even wrote into our Constitution ways of correcting errors of Due Process, although it took a Civil War and a half million lives to bring that about.

But here comes the HOA movement, a movement dedicated to fleecing unwitting homeowners out of their life savings. One of the first things they had to do was generate corporate ‘agreements’ where American home buyers unwittingly signed away their rights to Constitutional Due Process. And 62 million homeowners did exactly that, leading to a fifty billion dollar industry that routinely fleeces homeowners.

Enough of my blabbing. Here comes a Homeowners Rights advocate in Nevada who gets himself appointed to a state commission overseeing Homeowners Associations. Fighting a majority of committee members who are actually part of this fifty billion dollar a year industry, he makes some crazy recommendations, like…. well, like restoring Due Process to all Nevada Homeowners.

He could never get such a thing passed, could he? Well don’t ever underestimate the power of a single man who stands up against the mob. Commissioner Jonathan Friedrich, long my hero, and long the hero of millions of Nevadans actually got a Due Process pledge passed by his seven member commission.

Certainly, Friedrich has miles to go before he sleeps, and his Due Process resolution has a ways to go before it becomes law. It’s not perfect, even he would admit that. But who knew such a resolution could come out of a State committee which is basically bought and paid for by the HOA industry? Still, it’s a privilege to reprint the words of the new resolution here, for everyone to read:       

                                              PROPOSED REGULATION OF


                                               AND CONDOMINIUM HOTELS

                                                      November 15, 2013 Draft

                                                     Unassigned File #116-31085

 EXPLANATION – Matter in italics is proposed new language; matter in brackets [omitted material] is material to be omitted.


 Create a new section or amend NAC 116.31085 to add the following language:

 Section 1.

Timing of notice of hearing: In accordance with NRS 116.31031(4)(a), a notice of a hearing setting forth the date, time, and location for the hearing and a telephone number and mailing address that the recipient may contact to request an continuance or change of hearing time or date must be sent to the record owner at the last known postal mailing address of that record owner or, if none, to the postal address to which the annual assessment notice is mailed and any other party in interest to that party’s last known postal mailing address by certified mail return receipt requested not less than 30 days prior to the date of the hearing. The 30 days shall be counted starting the next business day after mailing and ending the day before the proposed  hearing. Notice shall be considered sufficient whether or not the certified mailing has been  claimed by the addressee, provided that the sender has the stub from the United States Postal Service showing the certified mailing number, name and address of the addressee, and payment of the required fees to the Postal Service.

Personal service is not required but is an acceptable alternative to mailing as set forth herein if made within the time frame specified 

 Section 2.

Contents of Notice: Notice delivered pursuant to Section 2 shall, in addition to the date, time and location of the proposed hearing, include a specific detailed description of the alleged violation in plain language, including but not limited to a recital of the number and language of the specific section of the governing documents alleged to have been violated and including a legible photograph of any property condition alleged to constitute the violation. The Notice must also set out the  fine for this violation then in effect in accordance with the governing documents and a reasonable time within which to cure the violation, the reasonableness of the cure time being commensurate to the magnitude and seriousness of the alleged violation. The Notice must also advise the addressee of the addressee’s rights set out in Section 3 and list the members of the hearing panel with their names. and addresses.

 Section 3.

Rights of alleged violator:

1.The property owner alleged to have violated the governing documents shall be entitled to one continuance of the proposed hearing of not more than 30 days for any reason whatsoever and any additional continuances to which all the parties agree.

2. At any hearing, the alleged violator may be represented by legal counsel or by any other person of his or her choosing or by any person acting as officer, managing partner or trustee of the entity owning the property. 

 3. The alleged violator must be given written notice that they can request in writing that within 5 days the hearing be held in open session rather than in closed session within.

4. The parties may present witnesses and all witnesses shall be subject to cross-examination by the opposing party and may not without the consent of all the parties be present when other witnesses are testifying except for the alleged violator who may be present for the entire hearing and may testify if he or she so chooses.

5. Any party may make an audio and/or video recording of the hearing at that party’s own cost and expense.

 6. A transcript of the hearing shall be paid for by the party requesting same or shared by the parties if both sides so request a copy.

7. Any party needing a language interpreter or sign language presenter may bring such interpreter and/or sign language presenter to the hearing at that party’s own cost and expense. 

8. All documentary evidence to be presented at the hearing by any party must be delivered to the opposing party not less than 5 days prior to the hearing along with a list of all proposed witnesses except that the alleged violator(s) may testify without being included on a witness list.

9. An alleged violator may challenge any member of the proposed hearing panel for bias or conflict of interest or for any disqualification permitted under NRS 116. 

10. The alleged violator may make a rebuttal at the end of the presentation of all evidence and all parties shall have the opportunity to address the hearing panel with a summation at the end of the presentation of all evidence. 

11. The hearing panel, by majority decision thereof, must render its decision within 10 days .

12. The decision of the hearing panel must be mailed in writing to all parties by regular mail within  10 days of its rendering along with an explanation as to a party’s right to appeal and setting out the applicable appeal procedure.

13. A unit owner shall be entitled to appeal a decision of the Board under the Real Estate Division’s Mediation Program as per NRS 38.300-360.

 14. No additional fines shall accrue while the decision is under appeal through the Mediation Program.

15. Each side shall be responsible for their own fees and costs.

A Wonderful Thought!

This was sent to me by a friend of the Neighbors At War blog. I think it’s wonderful and describes perfectly what Homeowners Rights Advocates are up against!

’nuff said?
Ward Lucas