Las Vegas Sun

November 28, 2014

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Las Vegas lawyer pleads guilty in alleged HOA scheme

A Las Vegas attorney pleaded guilty Monday for his role in multiple schemes to defraud the IRS, defraud his clients, and fraudulently gain control of condominium homeowners’ associations, according to the FBI.

Barry Levinson, 47, pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit mail and wire fraud, one count of tax evasion and one count of wire fraud. He faces a maximum sentence of 55 years in prison, FBI officials said.

From August 2003 to February 2009, Levinson participated in a scheme to control various HOA boards of directors so he could funnel construction-related lawsuits and contracts to his law firm, according to a plea agreement.

Levinson and his alleged co-conspirators used other people to purchase property, but paid for and controlled it themselves, officials said.

Levinson and his alleged co-conspirators funded the properties through several limited liability companies and often wired money from California to Nevada, officials said.

He was hired to represent the Park Avenue condominium complex, where he and his alleged co-conspirators rigged the election, FBI officials said. He also rigged an election and was hired as general counsel for the Pebble Creek HOA, officials said.

Levinson also admitted that he failed to file taxes from 2005 to 2010 and attempted to evade the IRS from 2009 to 2011, FBI officials said.

He admitted to embezzling nearly $180,000 from nine different minor personal injury clients between March 2010 and September 2011 and stole $65,000 from a person for whom he had been serving as an escrow agent, FBI officials said.

As part of the plea deal, Levinson was disbarred by the State Bar of Nevada. His sentencing is scheduled for May 5.

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