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With a taskforce of FBI Agents and Metro Detectives investigating an alleged scam that may have raked in hundreds of millions of dollars, you might think the chief suspects would lay low or get out of town. That is not the case regarding one very large homeowner association which, in just the past few weeks, saw the same suspects return for another bite of the apple.
Wanda Murray is amazed at the brazen return of the same outfit that has already taken millions of dollars out of the Vistana condo complex. In late December, she says the property manager informed her that $450,000 had disappeared from the homeowner association’s bank account — the last of an $8 million fund set aside to repair construction defects.
“They just went and did it,” she said.
To understand who “they” are, think back to late September when a task force of FBI Agents and Metro Detectives fanned out across the valley to serve search warrants at several locations.
At the center of the probe is Silver Lining Construction, owned by Leon Benzer. His office was searched along with that of his close associate, attorney Nancy Quon. The offices of a homeowner association management company called Platinum were also searched.
Lawmen believe that Benzer and others initiated the takeover of homeowner association boards all over town, possibly through rigged elections. The Benzer-dominated boards then voted to file construction defects lawsuits, which often were handed to lawyer Quon who succeeded in landing huge settlements. The lucrative repair work then was given to Benzer’s company.
In the case of Vistana, Murray and others say all five members of the board were tied to Benzer.