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Federal Construction-Defect Probe Looks at Allegedly Rigged HOA Elections at Las Vegas Condo Complex

Posted Dec 20, 2011 9:53 AM CDT
By Martha Neil

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A number of individuals who bought homes in big Las Vegas condominium complexes during the last decade or so were looking for a quiet life in retirement.

Little did they realize the excitement that awaited them there, as contractors and real estate attorneys vied for a piece of the construction-defect pie, reports Bloomberg in a lengthy article reprinted by MSNBC.com.

An ongoing federal investigation has focused attention on alleged rigging of homeowner association board elections, to gain a controlling voice in the awarding of construction and legal contracts, as well as other claimed abuses by insiders.

Wanda Murray, now 65, realized something seemed to be amiss at her development and went to Las Vegas police. She and others also filed a civil suit to try to regain control of the board that they alleged had been taken over contrary to the association's rules. Up against a cadre of attorneys, they lost.

However, two lawyers who represented the association are either under investigation or charged in matters reportedly related to their homeowner-association work in the Las Vegas area.

Although the condition of the condominiums is improving, now that owners are again in control of their own board, Murray let her unit go into foreclosure and moved elsewhere in 2008, Bloomberg recounts.

“I couldn’t take the pressure anymore. ... I'd had enough,” says Murray, who now stays as far away from homeowner association boards as possible.

She is watching with interest from the sidelines, though, to see where the investigation leads. Much, the article notes, still remains to be explained.

Related coverage:

ABAJournal.com: "Alleged Suicide Try Led to Arson Case Against Construction Lawyer Still Targeted in Fed’l HOA Probe"

ABAJournal.com: "Lawyer Pleads Guilty in Scheme to Elect Condo Board Members Favoring Construction Lawsuits"

ABAJournal.com: "Lawyer Who Took Plea in Las Vegas HOA Case Found Beaten, Is Hospitalized in Undisclosed Facility"

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