Every time a Las Vegas Tribune prediction become a reality, the newspaper’s credibility grows, despite the efforts made by enemies of the publication to give it the reputation of being an anti-police and anti-government newspaper.
What Las Vegas Tribune does is to open the eyes of its readers and not allow those with power — the government, police or anyone else — to blindfold the eyes of the citizens who happen to be readers of the Las Vegas Tribune.
Just two weeks ago the Las Vegas Tribune wrote the prediction that most people involved in the Home Owners Association Scandal would not be punished accordingly for the crimes they had committed, and just days later, in a page-3 article to avoid the possibility of being seen, the daily newspaper’s federal court reporter wrote an article titled, “Ex-police captain spared prison in HOA fraud case” that confirmed the prediction of the Las Vegas Tribune that Captain Frank Sutton will not be doing prison time for his criminal role in the HOA Scandal.
Just last week, May 20, 2015, a Las Vegas Tribune editorial emphasized the need to have all the individuals involved in the HOA Scandal be punished to the fullest extent of the law, but we won’t hold our breath for that to happen, knowing the lack of justice in our community.
“The real culprits behind this financial disaster for many, yet a money-making opportunity for animals like Leon Benzer, Ralph Priola, Frank Sutton and the rest of the defendants, need to pay for their crimes with real time, real punishment, and real financial consequences,” stated the Las Vegas Tribune editorial, but it seems like U.S. District Court of Nevada Judge Andrew Gordon “refused” to make that happen.
“According to court records and news media reports, more than 39 individuals had successfully pleaded guilty in the HOA Scandal case to avoid prison time and most likely none of them will spend more than a year behind bars; if they do, they will do their time at a fancy federal country club with access to Internet and maybe a golf course.
“Some of them were high-ranking police officers with the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department, with connections of their own and have already collected favors owed to them in return for their silence.
“They all brag about being super-macho men, like police captain Frank Sutton, who enjoyed beating defenseless handcuffed women, and now walks in the hallways of the Federal Court building like a little lamb hiding behind his daughter’s skirts, like any coward would do.
“The alleged mastermind of the scam, Leon Benzer, a man who once told the Las Vegas Tribune that he has all the judges in his pocket, specially the Black judges, is the subject of another of the newspaper’s predictions: that he will be doing little or no time at all.
“Michelle DeLuca, the office manager for bigmouth Puerto Rican Leon Benzer’s Silver Lining Construction Company, was as arrogant and miserable as her boss was, but in court she cried like a baby to convince U.S. District Court Judge James Mahan that she deserved a break because of her ‘extensive help to the government,’ who then ordered her to serve three years of supervised release and pay a share of $10,000 in restitution.
“Don’t these judges and prosecutors realize that defendants who snitch do it because they are too chicken to do their time and not because they are repentant?
“Judge Mahan is not the only softy judiciary that feels sorry for the defendants who are only sorry that they got caught; Chief U.S. District Court Judge Gloria Navarro sentenced Denise Keser, who ran a community management company Benzer set up to gain control of Chateau Nouveau, to three years of supervised release, giving the impression that just a few of the defendants are set to do a little time and the rest no time at all.
“When an arrest is made in drug trafficking where no senior is affected or no fraud is committed and money is held, the defendant loses that money which later is split between the police and the prosecution office, even if the defendants are found not guilty; the same should have been applied here where there are more victims and many people were seriously affected by the commission of a crime.
“There was the case where golf course developer Billy Walter was accused of a crime that later was dismissed and it took Walters years of fighting for his money before he could get even a partial amount back.
“An investigation should take place now to dig deeper into the financial status of these defendants and to confiscate every penny they have stolen.”
The government may feel that the victims in the HOA case didn’t lose that much, but maybe the effort, the time and the work of the investigators and prosecutors that took the case to the final step should be taken into consideration and all the assets of all the defendants should at least be frozen and confiscated. The judges may not want to send the defendants to prison, as they may well deserve, but how do we then get the impression that justice is for all?