Another Las Vegas Police Captain has agreed to take a guilty plea in the massive federal investigation of crooked Homeowner Associations. Captain Frank Sutton admits he’s guilty in a massive fraud scheme to stack the boards of Homeowner Associations so they could steer legal work and construction defect contracts and litigation to a group of Las Vegas insiders. He’s the fourth police official connected. The first one, Christopher Van Cleef, committed suicide.Captain Sutton says he served simultaneously on three HOA boards, High Noon, Mission Ridge, and Park Avenue in an effort to stack the boards. He tried to get on a fourth board, Pebble Creek.At the same time, Sutton worked for construction company boss Leon Benzer, a night club owner, whose ancillary businesses included a long list of construction companies which handled the HOA work. Insurance companies poured money into Benzer, and into construction defects attorney Nancy Quon.It’s the largest official corruption investigation in Nevada’s history. It’s also one of the largest in the history of the FBI and the US Attorney’s office.
There are still many public officials contemplating whether to take guilty pleas or be indicted, including police officers, judges, elected officials and others, and a whole lot of frightened public officials in Nevada who rightly think they could be next.
Stalling the investigation, is the spector that four of the first ten suspects indicted committed “suicide,” several in extremely suspicious circumstances. But the federal investigation plods on.
Some of the future indictments are said to be “earthshaking.” Hopefully, no political influences will be brought in this election year to surpress the kinds of indictments which could actually make a difference in American justice.
Another interesting thought: this identical type of FBI investigation could be dropped into any major American city and it would discover the same kind of endemic corruption. It’s organized crime. It’s absolutely in violation of federal RICO statutes. It’s desperately in need of being stomped out in the strongest possible and aggressive attack. If our prisons were filled with corrupt HOA officials, there wouldn’t be too many tears shed on the outside. A national investigation of this sort could actually save a number of suffering Homeowner Associations.
Excellent reporting, BTW, by Las Vegas Review Journal reporter Jeff German.