White-Collar Crime

General counsel, 3 others federally convicted in conspiracy to fleece Las Vegas HOAs

  • Print.

A former general counsel for a condominium association and three other defendants were found guilty Tuesday by a federal jury in Las Vegas of participating in a massive fraud of area homeowner associations.

Lawyers for attorney Keith Gregory and the other three individuals said they knew nothing of the scheme perpetrated by construction company owner Leon Benzer and dozens more defendants in which millions of dollars reportedly were siphoned from as many as 11 HOAs. However, the jury saw the case differently and convicted the quartet of conspiracy and wire fraud charges after several hours of deliberation, reports the Las Vegas Review-Journal. A total of 37 other defendants earlier pleaded guilty in the case.

Prosecutors said during the three-week trial that Gregory served as a “double agent” for Benzer, for whom he also performed legal work. Meanwhile, Gregory encouraged a “puppet board” at the Vistana condominium that Gregory represented as general counsel to steer multimillion-dollar construction work to the Silver Lining Construction company, operated by Benzer, the feds said.

All four defendants were released on their own recognizance prior to a scheduled June sentencing. However, a hearing is scheduled next week on a prosecution motion for a court order that Gregory can’t practice law or supervise others who practice in his office while awaiting sentencing, which Gregory is opposing.

Related coverage:

ABAJournal.com: “Defense rests in Las Vegas HOA criminal trial; says that GC didn’t know of the fraud”

Give us feedback, share a story tip or update, or report an error.