By JEFF GERMAN
Excerpted from LAS VEGAS REVIEW-JOURNAL
February 26, 2014
Leon Benzer: Accused of being the mastermind behind a Las Vegas HOA scheme. Benzer and his co-conspirators are accused of conspiring to pack HOA boards to gain legal and construction defect contracts for themselves. Benzer is among nearly 40 conspirators charged in a scheme to take over Las Vegas Valley homeowners associations. The case is now set to go before a jury on Oct. 6.
Former construction company boss Leon Benzer, the alleged mastermind, and his co-defendants are waiting to be tried on conspiracy and fraud charges in the multimillion-dollar scheme, which occurred between 2003 and 2009. The conspirators are accused of stacking HOA boards to gain legal and construction defect contracts for themselves. Straw buyers were recruited to purchase condominiums at nearly a dozen developments around town and then elected to the HOA boards through bribery and rigged elections.
Prosecutors have alleged that Benzer, the late construction defect lawyer Nancy Quon and others funneled $8 million through secret bank accounts to fund the scheme to land contracts worth millions of dollars more from the homeowners associations. Quon committed suicide on March 20, 2012, and was not charged in the case. Another attorney, David Amesbury, who had pleaded guilty, killed himself five days later. Others lawyers, former Las Vegas police officers and corrupted HOA board members are among those charged in the case.