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Ex-commissioner indicted in connection with Arizona land sales

Former Nye County Commissioner Henry Neth has been named in a five-count felony indictment related to a land investment in Arizona.

Neth, a commissioner from 2000 to 2004, was indicted by a Clark County grand jury on May 25, with the indictment unsealed May 30. He faces four counts of securities fraud and one count of embezzlement in connection with the sale of securities in his investment company, Stockton Jane.

Neth made untrue statements of material facts in 2005 and engaged in acts of business that would operate as fraud or deceit, according to the indictment released by the Nevada attorney general’s office.

Neth told Jonathan Baktari and Sassan Kaveh that he would use investment funds to buy and develop land in Arizona, when he already had bought the land in his own name and that of his partner, Eric Frye, authorities alleged. Frye was indicted on one count of embezzlement.

The funds were used for unauthorized purposes, the indictment said.

Between May 2005 and June 2006, Neth and Frye used $570,000 of Stockton Jane funds for a deposit on purchase of 252 acres for the proposed High Valley Ranch Estates development near Kingman, Ariz., authorities said. Over the course of 29 separate transactions, they transferred $1.34 million from Stockton Jane to Eagle View Group for purposes other than what was entrusted, the indictment said.

Neth misappropriated $2.4 million from a group of 30 to 40 investors, primarily from Pahrump and Las Vegas, who each put in $25,000 to $200,000, according to a lawsuit filed in 2008.

He signed a confession of judgment in January and agreed to pay $725,000 plus interest and attorneys’ fees to settle the debt with about a dozen plaintiffs, their attorney Richard McKnight said .

Neth, who led an effort to close brothels in Nye County when he was chairman of the commission in 2004, paid $75,000 at the time of the judgment but had not paid anything on the balance, McKnight told the Review-Journal.

Neth was arrested at his Pahrump home in May 2009 on embezzlement and securities fraud charges in connection with the land sales. A preliminary hearing was scheduled in September 2009 but repeatedly postponed because prosecutors could not produce documents requested by Neth’s attorney.

Neth is scheduled for a Nov. 19 trial in District Court Department 14.

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