Criminal Justice

Vegas Judge, 5 Others Federally Indicted re Claimed $3M Fraud Scheme

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A Nevada family court judge has been federally indicted, along with five other defendants, in a claimed $3 million fraud scheme that Clark County Judge Steven Jones allegedly used the power of his office to help promote.

Jones has not been arrested but is expected to surrender Thursday to authorities, and his Henderson home is being searched, under a warrant, by the FBI and the Las Vegas police, the Las Vegas Review-Journal reports.

Charges against the judge include money laundering, conspiracy and fraud.

KLAS reports that Jones, a controversial judge who has served 20 years on the bench, is accused of vouching for another defendant’s made-up credentials and meeting in his chambers with investors in the scheme, which began in 2002.

Individuals with money were allegedly recruited to “invest” by defendant Thomas A. Cecrle Jr. through claims that the unemployed man—who is a former brother-in-law of Jones and has been sued repeatedly concerning failed investments—was a government employee with connections to special programs through which they could make fantastic returns on short-term loans, according to KLAS and the Review-Journal.

Those who operated the scheme actually used the money for personal expenses, including gambling, authorities contend. The indictment says the judge and Cecrle maintained a joint bank account through which some $250,000 was laundered, the Las Vegas Sun reports.

Related coverage: (2011): “Judge Blasts Crotch Photo Snapped by Whistle-Blower Prosecutors; DA Files Ethics Complaint”

Las Vegas Review-Journal (2011): “Family judge’s courting stirs rift”

On the Boulevard (Las Vegas Review-Journal): “Judge Jones, Cecrle finally indicted on investment fraud charges”

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