In late December, residents of one condo complex under investigation learned that $450,000 had disappeared from the HOA's bank account. It was the last of an $8 million fund set aside to repair construction defects. Chief Investigative Reporter George Knapp takes a lookMore>>
The I-Team is uncovering new details in the ongoing political corruption probe into homeowners' associations. For weeks, information has been trickling out. Now new details have come to light on how the deals went down and how lax enforcement opened the door for potential corruption.More>>
The ongoing investigation into corruption among local HOA's may have forced one of the people being investigated to take his own life. Investigators believe that potential target Chris Van Cleef took his own life Tuesday morning, just days after his name surfaced in connection with a wide ranging corruption investigation.More>>
The I-Team has learned the FBI conducted yet another search warrant raid involving the ongoing HOA political corruption probe. This time, the offices of a prominent construction attorney were targeted. Share your thoughts and comments on the investigation.More>>
The ongoing corruption probe shows that if you're buying or selling a home or condo, you could be in serious trouble. Condos, neighborhoods and your home could all be in jeopardy because of a complicated, greedy scheme. Investigative Reporter Jonathan Humbert has the details.More>>
FBI Agents and Metro Detectives worked into the night, serving search warrants at nine locations to find evidence of what they believe is political corruption involving local homeowner associations. Inside, share your thoughts on the investigation.More>>
The I-Team has learned that a law enforcement task force has served search warrants at locations in the Las Vegas valley as part of a political corruption probe. Inside, share your thoughts on the investigation.More>>
Tuesday, June 18 2013 8:13 PM EDT2013-06-19 00:13:36 GMT
PAHRUMP, Nev. -- A fight between senators in Washington, D.C., could resurrect the controversial Yucca Mountain nuclear storage project in Nye County. Nye County leaders met Tuesday to support the openingMore>>
A fight between senators in Washington, D.C., could resurrect the controversial Yucca Mountain nuclear storage project in Nye County.More>>
Wednesday, June 19 2013 1:22 AM EDT2013-06-19 05:22:23 GMT
LAS VEGAS -- US Thrill Rides LLC Incorporated has submitted plans to the FAA to create a 650-foot roller coaster near the Tropicana Hotel. The Florida based company is remaining tight lipped on any ofMore>>
US Thrill Rides LLC Incorporated has submitted plans to the FAA to create a 650-foot roller coaster near the Tropicana Hotel.More>>
Tuesday, June 18 2013 10:49 PM EDT2013-06-19 02:49:28 GMT
LAS VEGAS -- Clark County Fire Department is battling a fire at a house near Russell Road and Spencer Street. According to the fire department's website, the fire started at around 4:30 p.m. Tuesday.More>>
A grass fire ignited a house in the 5400 block of Escondido Street, near Russell Road and Spencer Street, Tuesday afternoon.More>>
Tuesday, June 18 2013 9:50 PM EDT2013-06-19 01:50:28 GMT
LAS VEGAS -- A Las Vegas Metropolitan Police officer has been relieved of duty after pleading guilty to charges of possession of a controlled substance. Officer Ramin Amely was charged with two felonyMore>>
A Las Vegas Metropolitan Police officer has been relieved of duty after pleading guilty to charges of possession of a controlled substance.More>>
Tuesday, June 18 2013 7:14 PM EDT2013-06-18 23:14:30 GMT
LAS VEGAS -- Three major resort projects in Las Vegas could be the boost the local economy needs. The construction and hospitality industries have struggled since the recession, but signs of a reboundMore>>
Three major resort projects in Las Vegas could be the boost the local economy needs. The construction and hospitality industries have struggled since the recession, but signs of a rebound are emerging.More>>
Tuesday, June 18 2013 7:08 PM EDT2013-06-18 23:08:21 GMT
LAS VEGAS -- Clark County residents could soon be paying nearly 3 cents more a gallon for fuel, depending on a decision by county commissioners. The Nevada Legislature recently approved a bill that allowsMore>>
Clark County residents could soon be paying nearly 3 cents more a gallon for fuel, depending on a decision by county commissioners.More>>
Tuesday, June 18 2013 6:18 PM EDT2013-06-18 22:18:45 GMT
LAS VEGAS -- A domestic violence nonprofit organization that helps rescue women from violent relationships, is now itself in need of saving. Safe Faith United might have to shut its doors July 1 becauseMore>>
A domestic violence nonprofit organization that helps rescue women from violent relationships, is now itself in need of saving.More>>
Tuesday, June 18 2013 5:26 PM EDT2013-06-18 21:26:50 GMT
HENDERSON -- Imagine tens of thousands of children around the world learning to swim all at the same time. That's what happened Tuesday as part of "The World's Largest Swimming Lesson." The swimmingMore>>
Imagine tens of thousands of children around the world learning to swim all at the same time. That's what happened Tuesday as part of "The World's Largest Swimming Lesson."More>>
Tuesday, June 18 2013 3:33 PM EDT2013-06-18 19:33:34 GMT
LAS VEGAS -- Motorcyclists and local authorities are using "Ride to Work" day to remind everyone to share the road. This year, there has been 16 motorcycle deaths in Nevada. John Cahill is an experiencedMore>>
Motorcyclists and local authorities are using "Ride to Work" day to remind everyone to share the road.More>>
A former property manager is now coming forward saying she saw problems with the person at the center of the HOA investigations, Leon Benzer. New video and phone calls show some violent hired muscle willing to cross the line.
Allegations are flying back and forth in this case. Now there's proof it could get a lot worse.
From rigged elections and cushy contracts, to junkets to Cabo San Lucas and six tough guys acting as enforcers who would rough up anyone that would get in the way. The tale is the videotape, and it's one tale Diane Wild wishes she could forget.
"You recognize bad when you hear bad," she said.
For Wild, 35 years as a property manager means you know right from wrong, and she says a grainy black and white video proves it, "We have it on our security video camera."
Wild has been wrapped up in the HOA corruption probe since 2005, when she managed the Vistana and Pebble Creek Village properties.
She can list all the problems with the HOA leadership, "The election process, that they wanted to have full control of every operation that went on. They wanted to have their guys here, their guys there. I didn't agree with that."
Wild says developer Leon Benzer would get his friends to run for HOA board elections and then trump up defect lawsuits -- pocketing the extra money for his firm, Silver Lining Construction.
"When you see a job that costs $7,000 all of a sudden escalate to $20,000, you notice some nefarious activities going on," she said.
But they would rig the vote to get control, "They had all their players in place."
This past May, Wild protested one of the elections. After looking at the votes, something didn't add up -- all the votes seemed skewed for Frank Sutton, a retired Metro cop working with Benzer's other friends on the board.
"To have almost overwhelmingly a response and have them all be for Frank Sutton was just way too coincidental," she said.
That's where that video comes into play. After seeing the problems in May, homeowners at Pebble Creek wanted a recall election. Wild put it on the agenda. Then she got a call from the HOA board.
"Don't go to the meeting, do not send a representative to the meeting and you're fired," she said.
And then she got another call and voicemail, this time something far worse -- dangerous threats with language too graphic to air. While the recall went through, the very next day a dangerous surprise came to her door, all caught on tape.
"They immediately sent in six large Samoan gentleman, we're using that word loosely, to do us some bodily harm. They demanded the ballots, bandied about some threats," she said.
The video shows two of the muscular men demanding paperwork and then leaving.
For more than two years, Wild complained about these kinds of tactics. Because of it, she's faced smears and allegations.
Sources say Wild was involved in her own version of the same scheme, referring defect litigation to Draeger Construction, her vendor choice and a competitor of Benzer and Silver Lining. Sources say she took a free trip to Cabo san Lucas, all on the tab of Draeger.
Wild says that isn't so, "Five of us girls, one night having a cocktail decide it would just be a hoot to sneak off to Cabo and chase cabana boys and drink margaritas. That's the honest, bottom line truth."
In the end, she says reps from Draeger met in Cabo through mutual friends. She bought her own tickets.
The only gift given to Wild was a monogrammed towel still wrapped in cellophane.
After breaking her silence, Diane Wild won't let the questionable elections, innuendo and the strong arm tactics get in her way, "I decided that it was my responsibility to be the Norma Rae of the industry and step up to the plate say, ‘Wait a minute, you cannot do that.'"
The FBI conducted a search on Wild's records, looking for proof of wrongdoing. Her legal team cites law enforcement sources who say Wild is not a target, she is in fact a victim. But in the murky world of real estate with shifting alliances, it seems more keeps coming to light.