American Justice Notebook

"Our liberty depends on the freedom of the press, and that cannot be limited without being lost." — Thomas Jefferson

Las Vegas Attorney Tried to Control Home Owners Associations

LAS VEGAS — A Las Vegas attorney this week pleaded guilty  in federal court that he participated in a scheme to control various homeowners associations in the Las Vegas area, according to prosecutors.

Barry Levinson, 47, pleaded guilty in federal court to several criminal charges including conspiracy to commit mail and wire fraud along with one count of tax evasion.

The crimes were committed from August 2003 to February 2009, according to federal prosecutors.

Levinson wanted to control home owners associations board of directors so they members would give him construction-related lawsuits and remedial construction contracts to his law firm and construction company operated by his co-conspirators.

Levinson will be sentenced in May.

Federal authorities said the maximum sentence for conspiracy to commit mail fraud and wire fraud is 30 years in prison.   The maximum sentence for attempting to evade or defeat federal taxes is five years in prison.  The maximum penalty for wire fraud is 20 years in prison.