The man who bragged about having every judge in this city in his pocket was not as arrogant-looking during his court appearance last week while he pled not guilty to charges of conspiracy, mail and wire fraud, and many others. His name is on all 17 counts.
During the beginning of the investigation, Leon Benzer was only known as “Co-Conspirator B,” becoming the second in the long list of co-conspirators while allowing his partner in the scam, the late attorney Nancy Quom, to hold the number one position. In reality, according to testimony and court papers, Benzer has always been the mastermind and the manipulator of his gang of naive attorneys, private investigators, and police official higher-ups in the administration of Sheriff Douglas Gillespie.
Last week in the courtroom of US Magistrate Peggy Leen, the alleged last group of defendants, including Benzer, accompanied by their respective attorneys, pleaded not guilty, at which time attorney Dan Albright, representing Leon Benzer, informed Magistrate Leen that due to the financial situation of his client, he was not able to represent Benzer any longer.
In a copy of the indictment obtained by the Las Vegas Tribune, the list of eleven defendants and their respective charges were specified, and details of the investigation conducted by the team effort of FBI agents and Metro investigators shows the professionalism of all those involved in the case, including the trial attorneys, Thomas B.W. Hall and Mary Ann McCarthy, with Deputy Chiefs Kathleen McGovern and Charles La Bella. The case has been assigned to US District Court Judge James Mahan.
The bragging of Leon Benzer about having judges in his pocket gave the impression that many local judges were involved in the criminal activities masterminded by Benzer, whose criminal behavior has destroyed many careers and cost four lives so far, despite the fact that greed has played a main role in the lives of all of the participants: attorneys; police officers, including disgraced police captain, Frank Sutton; Lt. Ben Kim, AKA the Mayor of Chinatown because of his connection with businesses and civic leaders in the Asian community; and former police officer Morris Mattingly.
All defendants were freed on their own recognizance, including a Mexican man who traveled to Durango, Mexico several times a month to visit his wife; he has complied with all court appearances and has never missed a court date, therefore showing respect for the court, according to his attorney. They have all been ordered to appear in the courtroom of Judge Mahan on March 26th for sentencing.