Central figure, conspirators in HOA scheme indicted by federal grand jury - News - ReviewJournal.com: "Leon Benzer, the former construction company boss at the center of a long-running investigation into fraud and corruption at homeowners associations, and 10 other defendants were indicted Tuesday by a federal grand jury. The long-awaited indictment is part of the final Justice Department push to charge conspirators in a massive scheme to take over homeowners associations across the Las Vegas Valley between 2003 and 2009."
There have been 28 guilty pleas so far. Now we have 11 more indictments. Nevada is one of only a handful of states that has an ombudsperson and/or a government agency with special responsibilities regarding common interest housing. But nonetheless, the most massive HOA/condo association fraud ever uncovered happened right under their noses. What do we conclude from that? How about: this is what privatization without accountability looks like. This is what happens when state and local governments hand over major responsibilities--including the power to tax, run elections, enforce rules, and make major decisions that affect people's lives--to unpaid, untrained volunteers who have to meet no minimum qualifications and who have no meaningful oversight. There have been other frauds and embezzlements across the nation. There will be more to come. Will our public policy makers adopt common sense reforms to protect people?