A large group in Las Vegas used Home Owners Associations to commit a variety of crimes, according to the Federal Bureau of Investigation and Metro Police. Part of the plan included making phony or questionable condominium purchases to get members of the conspiracy in place to serve on HOA boards. The HOA board elections were reportedly rigged. Once in place, the phony condo owners would funnel HOA funds to private attorneys, property management companies and construction companies.

Several people involved have pleaded guilty and one, a retired Metro Police Lt. committed suicide after the FBI began to shut down the operation. The attorney who benefitted the most from the activity also died under questionable circumstances. It was alleged that the fraudulent owners and HOA board members would hire her to handle construction defect lawsuits, often worth millions of dollars. She would apparently keep overly large legal fees and the rest of the money gained through the lawsuits would go to the leader of the conspiracy, rather than to affected homeowners. The attorney maintained her innocence until her death and the alleged head of the conspiracy also maintains his innocence of any wrongdoing.

Source: Vegas Inc., “HOA scandal involving millions of dollars and thousands of homes cuts wide swath across Las Vegas Valley,” by Steve Green, 3 June 2012

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