It’s extremely difficult to celebrate when a cop goes down in a corruption scheme. All my life, I’ve been a reporter as I covered police officers working in extremely dangerous situations to protect all of us from the world’s evils. Over the years I’ve developed enormous respect for the profession, so each conviction of a cop gives me a sick feeling in the pit of my stomach.
Still, they have a special position of trust, and when a cop’s actions have created immeasurable suffering for others, he deserves the most severe kind of justice that can be meted out.
That said, a third cop in the Las Vegas Police Department has taken a guilty plea in the Las Vegas Homeowners Association scam. Federal investigators have poured into the valley over the past three years, trying to wrangle a massive corruption scheme that cost thousands of homeowners their money, their security, their homes, their retirements.
Captain Frank Sutton of the Vice and Narcotics Squad is the third cop to plead guilty. His plea was just unsealed by a Federal Court Judge. Four previous suspects in the probe committed “suicide,” including another police official. His is the 27th guilty plea in the case, and the Feds promise many more indictments of surprisingly high local and state officials.
Multiple civil lawsuits have been filed by homeowners who lost their life savings in the Las Vegas HOA scam, and those lawsuits could uncover information the federal investigators couldn’t get close to. But the Las Vegas HOA establishment continues to be in chaos, with many people unable to buy or sell with any level of confidence. Las Vegas housing, in a word, is toxic. You’d have more luck at the slots than in finding a good investment in Nevada housing.
Still, remember that Las Vegas is not the center of the HOA scandal. The scandal is nationwide. It affects every Homeowner’s Association in America. If that seems like a stretch, then just do a Google search on the number of embezzlements in the HOA system. You’ll find it tough to locate a single major city that hasn’t been hit with HOA corruption.
Neighbors At War: The Creepy Case Against Your Homeowners Association