Hearings to address 3.1 million pages of documents

Two federal magistrates on Wednesday are to take up the subject of the massive evidence in the long-running criminal investigation into corruption at Las Vegas Valley homeowners associations.

Justice Department lawyers filed court papers Monday disclosing that they have turned over more than 3.1 million pages of documents to defense lawyers in the high-profile case.

Defense lawyers could not recall a criminal case in Las Vegas with more evidence.

The lawyers with the Justice Department’s Fraud Section in Washington said they also have provided the defense with 198 audio files, 25 video files and 1,100 photos.

Among the documents turned over are tens of thousands of pages of FBI and Las Vegas police investigative reports, the prosecutors said.

The mountain of evidence is part of the high-profile case against former construction company boss Leon Benzer, the accused mastermind of a HOA takeover scheme, and 10 others. The defendants, who were indicted in January, are to stand trial March 3.

U.S. Magistrate Judge George Foley, Jr. scheduled a status hearing Wednesday to evaluate the process of turning over the evidence in the largest public corruption case brought by federal authorities in Nevada.

A separate hearing is set the same day before U.S. Magistrate Judge Nancy Koppe in a bid by Vistana homeowners association lawyers to force the FBI to provide them with documents seized in the criminal investigation. Vistana, a victim of a takeover, is locked in complex civil litigation stemming from the scheme, which took place between 2003 and 2009.

Prosecutors have indicated they are willing to give the Vistana attorneys the documents, but they want Koppe to order the documents released under a protective order, similar to the criminal case, limiting what can be made public.

Contact Jeff German at jgerman@reviewjournal.com or 702-380-8135. Follow @JGermanRJ on Twitter.