$17 million judgment ordered against candidate Danny Tarkanian

A $17 million judgment against congressional candidate Danny Tarkanian and his family in a California real estate deal gone bad provided fresh fodder Wednesday for his GOP opponents in the highly competitive June 12 primary race for Nevada’s new House seat.

Tarkanian said he would appeal the judgment, which was signed May 21 by U.S. District Judge William Hayes in the Southern District of California court in San Diego. But Tarkanian appeared stunned by the outcome of the long-running case in which he maintains his family was the victim of loan fraud.

“Our attorney felt confident we would prevail,” he said in an interview before speaking with his lawyer. “I know one thing: We’re going to appeal the judgment.”

Tarkanian learned about the judgment on the same day one of his eight Republican primary foes began airing a TV commercial that attacks his character and his losing election record.

The 30-second ad from Dan Schwartz, an international businessman and newcomer to Nevada, mentions the real estate case hanging over Tarkanian, past property tax issues and problems with Tarkanian’s campaign finance report filed with the Federal Election Commission.

“You see, Danny Tarkanian never wins because Danny Tarkanian cannot be trusted,” the ad says.

Tarkanian said he expected negative attacks, which have hobbled him in previous campaigns, including the GOP U.S. Senate primary in 2010 in which he came in third .

“They always come with the hit pieces,” Tarkanian said.

With early voting under way, Tarkanian remains the Republican to beat thanks to his high name recognition and base of support from his three previous campaigns. But his opponents’ attacks painting him as a perennial loser and a poor businessman may be taking a toll.

Internal polling in the race shows Tarkanian still leading the field, but his support from likely primary voters has dropped in recent weeks, from the 60 percent range into the 30s, as the campaign has become more competitive, according to two GOP insiders familiar with the surveys.

Schwartz and state Sen. Barbara Cegavske are running neck and neck for second place, but neither has cracked 20 percent support, according to the internal polling in the volatile race.

Up to 15 percent of GOP primary voters remain undecided, according to the polling. Because the race is so splintered, the victor could win with about a quarter of the vote.

Tarkanian and Schwartz are the only candidates airing TV ads widely across the district. It covers the lower half of Nevada, including all of five rural counties and parts of Lyon County and urban North Las Vegas in Clark County. Cegavske’s campaign has focused a ground game on reaching 10,000 supporters, which probably would be more than enough to win in a low-turnout GOP primary.

Ken Wegner, who has been a GOP congressional nominee three times but lost to U.S. Rep. Shelley Berkley, D-Nev., is a Gulf War veteran with a solid base of military support.

Political newcomer Kiran Hill, a former Marine who has worked for the State Department in Iraq, seeks to lure voters by appealing to supporters of Rep. Ron Paul, R-Texas, through a TV ad in Pahrump.

The GOP primary winner June 12 will face outgoing Nevada Senate Majority Leader Steven Horsford, the only Democrat running, in the Nov. 6 general election.

For the past couple of years, the Tarkanians have been losing the legal battle to save a 9-acre parcel of land near the M Resort on Las Vegas Boulevard .

In 2010, the Tarkanians sued La Jolla Bank to block it from foreclosing on the property, used as collateral for a $14.6 million loan in 2007 as part of the soured California real estate deal.

The bank later failed and was taken over by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp., apparently leaving the Tarkanians with little legal recourse.

Tarkanian’s attorney, Gus Flangas, said the FDIC foreclosed on the family property in 2011, placing its value at
$3 million. The Tarkanians could be on the hook to make up the difference of the $17 million judgment if they don’t win an appeal to the 9th Circuit or if they don’t settle with the FDIC.

Another option is for the Tarkanians’ Vegas Diamond Properties LLC to declare bankruptcy, although Flangas said that “the family’s trying to do everything they can to keep from having to do that.”

“It was bad enough to lose the property,” which was meant to be a retirement nest egg, Flangas said. “It would be even worse for them to come after the family for the money.”

Vegas Diamond Properties is owned jointly by Tarkanian and other members of his extended family, including his mother, Las Vegas City Councilwoman Lois Tarkanian, and his father, Jerry Tarkanian, the former famed University of Nevada, Las Vegas basketball coach.

The Tarkanians contend they were tricked into loaning a California-based developer money for a project in Anza, Calif., that had many undisclosed problems.

The Tarkanians’ lawsuit alleged that La Jolla Bank worked with real estate investor Robert A. Dyson Jr. to defraud the family by approving the loan deal despite the developer’s growing financial problems and opposition to the Anza project from local Native Americans.

Court documents said the Anza property, valued at
$15 million, was securing loans through La Jolla worth
$32.5 million, and Dyson couldn’t make good on his obligations.

Dyson later filed for bankruptcy protection, leaving the Tarkanians unable to sue him.

Once the FDIC got involved, the courts began siding with the federal receivers.

“Anything the bank did wrong kind of goes out the door,” Flangas said.

On May 4, Judge Hayes issued a summary judgment on the FDIC’s behalf against the Tarkanians.

The financial judgment came a couple of weeks later against Danny Tarkanian, his wife, Amy, his parents and other family members for $16,995,005.17, including the loan principal, interest and fees.

“The principals involved not only lost their properties, but also are now in danger of losing their entire net worth,” Flangas wrote Wednesday in a document summing up the case.

Reporter Jeff German contributed to this story.

ad-high_impact_4
News
Three Square helps TSA workers
Three Square Food Bank donated over 400 care bags to TSA workers affected by the government shutdown Wednesday, filled with food, personal hygiene products and water.
Las Vegas furniture store donates to Clark County firehouses
Walker Furniture donated new mattresses to all 30 Clark County firehouses in the Las Vegas Valley, starting today with Station 22. (Mat Luschek/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Mount Charleston Gets Heavy Snow, Fog
Mount Charleston saw heavy snow today, and fog in lower elevations as a cold front swept across the Las Vegas Valley. (Benjamin Hager/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Krystal Whipple arrested in Arizona
Krystal Whipple, charged in the killing of a Las Vegas nail salon manager over a $35 manicure, is expected to return to Nevada to face a murder charge.
Holocaust survivor on acceptance
Holocaust survivor Celina Karp Biniaz, who was the youngest person on Schindler’s List, talks about the most important message for people to understand from her life and experiences.
Holocaust survivor speaks about telling her story
Holocaust survivor Celina Karp Biniaz, who was the youngest person on Schindler’s List, tells of opening up about her experiences during Sunday’s event at Temple Sinai.
Jesus Jara State of the Schools address
Clark County School District Superintendent Jesus Jara delivers his State of the Schools address on Friday, Jan. 11, 2019. (Amelia Pak-Harvey/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Michael Naft sworn in to Clark County Commission
Michael Naft, chosen by Gov. Steve Sisolak to be his replacement on the Clark County Commission, was sworn into office on Wednesday, Jan. 9, 2019. (Shea Johnson/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
CES Opening Party in Omnia Nightclub at Caesars Palace
CES conventioneers packed Omnia Nightclub at Caesars Palace, and let loose as they danced to DJs into the night. (K.M. Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @KMCannonPhoto
Las Vegas police piecing together details of fatal shooting
Six hours after the fact, Las Vegas homicide detectives worked to reconstruct the scene of a shooting early Jan. 7 that left one man dead in the southeast valley. (Rio Lacanlale/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Dyer Lawrence explains college football playoff system proposal
Las Vegan Dyer Lawrence has a new idea for a college football playoff system that includes a unique scheduling component called National Call Out Day. (Ron Kantowski/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Death row inmate Scott Dozier found dead in his cell
Nevada death row inmate Scott Dozier is dead. Dozier’s death ends his legal odyssey, which began in 2007 when he was convicted in the 2002 murder of Jeremiah Miller, but does little to clarify what’s next for Nevada’s death penalty.
I-15 southbound near Primm closed after ‘major crash’
A rollover crash Saturday morning involving at least nine vehicles on southbound Interstate 15 near Primm caused an hourslong traffic delay. Traffic was backed up to Sloan, live traffic cameras show. (Rio Lacanlale/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Death Valley visitors deal with shutdown
Visitors staying at the Furnace Creek Campground were forced to move from the campground following health and safety concerns due to lack of resources during the partial government shutdown at Death Valley National Park in Calif., on Friday, Jan. 4, 2019. Richard Brian Las Vegas Review-Journal @vegasphotograph
Half of homicides in Henderson for 2018 domestic violence related
Lt. Kirk Moore of the public information office of the city of Henderson police department speaks to the Review-Journal in Henderson, Thursday, Jan. 3, 2019. Henderson saw a slight increase in homicides in the past year. (Rachel Aston/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Governor-elect Steve Sisolak stops by Las Vegas Boys and Girls Club
Governor-elect Steve Sisolak kicks off his tour to Carson City, which will take him from Las Vegas, through Tonopah, and up to the capital city. First stop is the Downtown Boys & Girls Club.
Certificates for renewing wedding vows in Clark County
The Marriage License Bureau in Clark County began issuing a Certificate of Vow Renewal to married couples who are renewing their wedding vows on Jan. 3, 2019. (Shea Johnson/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Las Vegas flu season better than last year (so far)
Dr. Fermin Leguen, chief medical officer and director of clinical services at the Southern Nevada Health District, said there were 24 flu-related deaths at this point in the flu season. No deaths have been reported so far this year. (K.M. Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @KMCannonPhoto
The Las Vegas Valley’s First Baby of 2019
The first 2019 baby in the Las Vegas Valley was Melialani Chihiro Manning, born at 12:10 a.m. at Henderson Hospital. (Briana Erickson/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Las Vegas NYE Fireworks - VIDEO
The full show: A spectacular view from the rooftop of the Trump International Hotel as 80,000 pyrotechnics illuminated the Las Vegas Strip at the stroke of midnight. Fireworks by Grucci choreographed launches from the Stratosphere, the Venetian, Treasure Island, Caesars Palace, Planet Hollywood, Aria and MGM Grand.
Snow in Henderson on New Year's Eve morning
Light snow flurries in Anthem Highlands in Henderson on Monday morning, the last day of 2018.
Sources: Henderson Constable may face more charges
Henderson Constable Earl Mitchell may face additional charges ... stemming from his spending of county funds, sources said. Mitchell was indicted earlier this month on five felony theft and fraud charges ... after a Las Vegas Review-Journal story questioned his spending. But grand jury records show even more extensive spending including ... an $800 dinner at steakhouse ... nearly 200 atm withdrawals mostly at gambling establishments ... and even Disneyland tickets. But his attorney plans to ask a judge to dismiss the charges.
Las Vegas NYE Restrictions and Enhanced Security
If you are planning to celebrate New Year's Eve on the Las Vegas Strip or Fremont Street, be aware that you are not allowed to bring backpacks, coolers, strollers or glass. There will also be an increase in security to ensure safe celebrations across town.
Catholic Charities serves up 53rd annual Christmas dinner
Catholic Charities of Southern Nevada and more than 100 volunteers served 1,000 Christmas meals to Southern Nevada's homeless and less fortunate. (K.M. Cannon Las Vegas Review-Journal @kmcannonphoto)
Henderson couple adds another school to their generosity
Bob and Sandy Ellis of Henderson, who donate to several Clark County School District schools, have added Matt Kelly Elementary in Las Vegas to their list of schools where every student gets new shoes, socks and a toy. (K.M. Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Jeffrey Martin Added To Nevada's Black Book
Martin was one of four men convicted of theft and cheating at gambling in 2016 in Clark County District Court and sentenced to prison. The Nevada Gaming Commission voted unanimously Thursday to include Martin in the black book.
Raiders Stadium Timelapse
Construction on the new Raiders stadium continues in Las Vegas.
Buffalo Wild Wings security video
Security footage from a Buffalo Wild Wings restaurant in southwest Las Vegas captured a driver who repeatedly crashed into a vehicle in a failed attempt to squeeze into a tight parking spot.
The Magical Forest at Opportunity Village
Opportunity Village's Magical Forest added 1 million lights and a synchronized music show visible from all over the forest this year. The holiday attraction, which began in 1991, has a train, rides, food and entertainment along with the light displays. (Heidi Knapp Rinella/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Navigating the new I-515 southbound to 215 Beltway ramp configuration
After opening at 5 a.m. Tuesday, Dec. 18, 2018, the new Interstate 515 southbound to the 215 Beltway westbound freeway ramp configuration caused confusion amongst motorist. Here’s how to navigate the new ramp. (Mick Akers/ Las Vegas Review-Journal).
TOP NEWS
News Headlines
ad-infeed_1
ads_infeed_2
Local Spotlight
Home Front Page Footer Listing
Circular
You May Like

You May Like