Las Vegas Sun

July 2, 2015

Currently: 100° — Complete forecast | Log in | Create an account

Letter to the editor:

Milam land deal doesn’t smell right

Another view?

View more of the Las Vegas Sun's opinion section:

Editorials - the Sun's viewpoint.

Columnists - local and syndicated writers.

Letters to the editor - readers' views.

Have your own opinion? Write a letter to the editor.

In regard to developer Chris Milam, who sold his idea of a stadium/arena on 480 acres to Henderson city officials, and his attempt to purchase the land from the Bureau of Land Management for $10.5 million — a steal of a price:

It is alleged that Milam had no intentions of keeping his part of the bargain from the start. The price of $22,000 per acre is low compared with other properties nearby selling at $500,000 per acre.

Henderson officials say they are not trying to block the sale of the land from the BLM to Milam. They say their only interest is that the land should be used only for a stadium/arena.

If Milam is allowed to complete the purchase with these conditions, what would stop him from selling it to someone else at a huge profit for himself with the new buyer agreeing to conditions laid out by Henderson officials for a stadium/arena on the land?

If it is proved that Milam engaged in fraud, the land sale should not take place. At these low prices, most land developers would jump at such a deal and probably offer more.

Sam Pizzo, Henderson

Join the Discussion:

Check this out for a full explanation of our conversion to the LiveFyre commenting system and instructions on how to sign up for an account.

Full comments policy

Previous Discussion: 18 comments so far…

Comments are moderated by Las Vegas Sun editors. Our goal is not to limit the discussion, but rather to elevate it. Comments should be relevant and contain no abusive language. Comments that are off-topic, vulgar, profane or include personal attacks will be removed. Full comments policy. Additionally, we now display comments from trusted commenters by default. Those wishing to become a trusted commenter need to verify their identity or sign in with Facebook Connect to tie their Facebook account to their Las Vegas Sun account. For more on this change, read our story about how it works and why we did it.

Only trusted comments are displayed on this page. Untrusted comments have expired from this story.

  1. Sam:

    Help me here. It was an above board transaction: A willing buyer and seller. Where's the fraud?


  2. Carmine,

    "Help me here.It was an above board transaction: A willing buyer and seller.Where's the fraud"?

    That's easy, Mr.Milam stated that he had all intentions to build a stadiun /arena with the land purchase from the BLM at supposedly a discounted price.

    As early as Oct. 2012 it was alleged that Mr. Milam was advertising the land to build residential homes on the same site (also alleged).He even went as far to say that land selling in the same area was selling for $500,000 an acre while he had paid only $22,000 a acre. One of his attorneys had complained to the city of Henderson officials that his intentions (Mr.Milam) all along were not to ever build a stadiun /arena. The same day he brought a check in for the balance of the land deal. He also brought along with him a letter saying that the financing fell through for the stadium /arena.Henderson city officials seem to think that Mr.Milam may have commited a fraud just to get the land. The rest is for the the attorneys and city officials to sort out.

  3. Good question, Sam Pizzo posed with, "... what would stop him from selling it to someone else at a huge profit for himself with the new buyer agreeing to conditions laid out by Henderson officials for a stadium/arena on the land".

    Unless the sales contract has written within it such stipulations, one has to wonder about the disposition of the subject property should the sports arena deal not materialize. Yep, good question.

    Blessings and Peace,

  4. "what part of this not being ethical can't you see?" @ Jeff

    Lack of ethics is not illegal. Fraud is [illegal] if proven.


  5. Sam:

    Milam's got a case. The City of Henderson has to prove fraud. Would have, could have, should have is not fraud. In an above board transaction, there is a willing buyer and seller. Rarely is a price negotiated based on the the usage for which the land will be used. AND in the rare cases when it is, THE TERMS OF THE SALE PRICE MUST BE STIPULATED IN THE BUY/SELL contract. If not, there is no written contract contingent on the land usage and no fraud. Just alleged fraud.


  6. Yep Carmine you're right, lack of ethics is not illegal , if it were there would be a lot of law breaking at city council meetings in Hendertucky.I would say this guy gets the land, is allowed to sell it, and Henderson City Council has pie on thier face. Oh yeah and one attorney sweeps the dirt and covers up his footprints, never happened .

  7. Jeff:

    I don't make and pass the laws. Legal isn't synonymous with ethical. That's the distinction between ethics and laws. The next time you see/hear a judge rule on the ethics of the case, and not the law, please let me know. Never the twain shall meet.


  8. Jeff:

    I'm an accountant by education, training and practice. I had to take and pass an ethics exam and a business law exam, both of which I did with flying colors. The two had absolutely nothing to do with each other except to distinguish the nuances between the two areas of study. That may be difficult for you to accept, it is for me sometimes, but it is what it is, like it or not.


  9. Henderson municipal elections are coming!

  10. Carmine,

    If you are trying to imply that Mr.Milam was a straight shooter from the beginning on this land deal.You are the only one who thinks so. We shall see how the this all plays out.How many times do we hear about a persons own lawyer going to the authorties (Henderson) on their own client and exposing him?

  11. Yes peacelily elections are coming in Henderson , that doesnt mean anything, Hafen has this election wrapped up before it starts. It wouldn't matter if he was exposed for doing anything his followers are blind sheep who just vote the way they're told to.

  12. Jeff from vegas,, Carmines just telling it like it is. You will see that the whole deal , although a big black eye for Henderson, is going to go away and people will forget aaallll about it. The voters in Henderson wont even care that a power player involved in the deal is a big money raiser for campaigns of incumbent coucil members.

  13. "How many times do we hear about a persons own lawyer going to the authorties (Henderson) on their own client and exposing him?" @ Sam Pizzo

    I don't know the lawyer or Milam. But it would not be the first time a client-lawyer relationship went awry. It happens all the time.

    I never said Milam was a straight shooter. But what you describe of the transaction, and I read here and in the news accounts, Milam came with two loaded six shooters and the Henderson City Council got caught with their pants down. That's not fraud. That's not taking care of business until all the paperwork is done.


  14. Carmine, Call it what you will,We will just have to see if Mr. Milan got a special deal to buy federal land from the BLM to build a stadiun/arena with false intentions from the very start.The law will take care of this situation one way or the other.

    We are commenters not lawyers or judges,this is for the powers to be to sort out.Our opinions are just that opinions.

  15. Sam: Let me throw this out for you and others to think about. Let's suppose Milam doesn't sell at all. BUT keeps the land and drills for energy. AKA fracking. He'll make a ton of loot AND bring thousands of jobs to Nevada. Perhaps so many jobs, they'll make him an honorary mayor of Henderson or even honorary Governor. Just think about it. There is a fine line between shrewd business and larceny. And most good business men have a little bit of larceny in their hearts. Does it rise to the level of fraud? Like you said: The courts will work through that issue. Not us.


  16. Carmine,

    All I've ever said is that it is alleged that a fraud was committed.I never said he actually did commit a fraud.

    The Federal Govt. has announceed it will investigate the US Bureau of land management's pending sale of the 480 acre site in Henderson to embattled developer Chris Milam.

    Fracking could never happen on the strip, not a good example for a comparison.

  17. Sam:

    Time will tell....


  18. Did the contract leave it open that Milam could do anything other than a stadium? If so, what can Henderson do about it. They screwed up. All involved should be let go for incompetence, or voted out of office.

    Then the question I have is, does the BLM require the land purpose to be stated and adhered to? What is the stated land purpose, and potential alternative, in the application to the BLM?