Fixing Las Vegas HOA Elections Was Gamble That Didn’t Pay Off
An alleged homeowner’s association election-rigging plot has been uncovered in Nevada, leaving those living in community associations across the Las Vegas Valley feeling vulnerable after being tricked into hiring a certain construction company.
The scheme involved a former construction company boss using his associates to stuff ballots, steal ballots, and steam open ballots to win HOA elections so that the construction company could obtain lucrative construction contracts from “friendly” board members.
Federal prosecutors claim that 11 associations were defrauded of millions of dollars in the takeover scheme, which occurred between 2003 and 2009. The investigation is thought to be the largest public corruption case federal authorities have brought in Southern Nevada.
A total of 36 defendants now have pleaded guilty to various crimes related to the scheme; several are accused of conspiring to pack association boards to gain legal and construction defect contracts. Straw buyers were recruited to purchase condominiums at developments and then get elected to the HOA boards through bribery and racketeering.
There have also been accusations that an “enforcer” for the construction boss was instructed to go to board meetings to intimidate board members not friendly with him and once went to a board member’s home for that purpose. The enforcer’s reputation as a ranking kung fu grandmaster led the FBI to name the long-running federal investigation “Operation Grandmaster.”
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