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Former official draws suspended sentence

Nikki Pomeroy, a former officer of failed Southwest Exchange, has been sentenced in Clark County District Court to a suspended sentence for acting as an unlawful intermediary in a tax-free exchange.

She was sentenced Tuesday to 12 to 36 months in prison, but the sentence was suspended. She will serve a maximum of three years on probation. She must complete 800 hours of community service, maintain full-time employment and provide probation officers with a complete report on her finances. Pomeroy was fined $10,000. A court sentencing note mentions payment of $694,000 as part of civil lawsuits.

U.S. District Judge Philip Pro in 2009 sentenced her father, Donald McGhan, former chairman of Southwest Exchange, to 10 years in prison.

The Henderson-based company closed in 2007. It was a financial intermediary for real estate investors who wanted to delay federal income taxes on gains in property sales.

In order to defer the capital gains tax, investors must not receive direct payment from buyers but must relay on an intermediary like Southwest Exchange. Then, the real estate seller directs the intermediary to use the proceeds to make a like investment.

However, the company diverted investor money to other purposes. Investors lost about $97 million but recovered about 73 cents on the dollar through lawsuits against third parties, including insurance companies.

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