Archive for the ‘Harvey Whittemore’ Category

prison bitchRENO, Nev. (AP) — A federal appeals court has denied an appeal by former Nevada developer and power broker Harvey Whittemore to stay out of prison while he appeals his campaign finance conviction. 
 
   Nevada U.S. Attorney’s Office spokeswoman Natalie Collins says the ruling means Whittemore must surrender to a federal prison on Wednesday to begin serving a two-year sentence for making illegal contributions to U.S. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid.
 
   Whittemore attorneys Dominic Gentile and Justin Bustos didn’t immediately respond to requests for comment about Friday’s decision by the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.
 
   Whittemore was convicted last year of violating campaign-spending laws by using family and employees of his real estate company to funnel more than $130,000 to Reid’s re-election committee in 2007.
 
   Reid was not accused of wrongdoing in the case. 

Attorneys for convicted former power broker Harvey Whittemore asked the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals Friday to block a judge’s decision ordering him to surrender to federal prison authorities on Aug. 6.

At federal prosecutors’ urging, Senior U.S. District Judge Larry Hicks in June ordered Whittemore to start serving a two-year prison term next month for breaking campaign contributions laws.

But attorneys Dominic Gentile and Vincent Savarese said in their court papers Friday that Whittemore deserves to remain free while he appeals his conviction.

The filing of the court papers with the 9th Circuit automatically stays Whittemore’s Aug. 6 surrender until the appeals panel issues a decision, the lawyers wrote.

“This case presents novel questions that have not been resolved by this or any other appellate court,” Gentile and Savarese wrote. “Given the relative dearth of jurisprudence, the testimonial evidence in Mr. Whittemore’s case and the complex issues involved, Mr. Whittemore’s appeal is both hefty and meritorious.”

A Reno jury last year found Whittemore guilty of unlawfully funneling more than $133,000 in contributions to the campaign of Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev.

Reid wasn’t accused of wrongdoing in the case.

Hicks ruled in June that there was no longer any reason to allow Whittemore to remain free.

Gentile and Savarese had earlier persuaded Hicks to keep him out of prison on appeal on grounds the U.S. Supreme Court was considering a case that might undermine the validity of his convictions. But the high court’s eventual ruling this year did not have that kind of impact on Whittemore’s case.

Whittemore, 61, an attorney and onetime influential lobbyist, was convicted of giving money to 29 family members and employees of his former company, Wingfield Nevada Group, and then using them as “conduits” for contributions to Reid’s 2007 re-election committee to skirt federal campaign laws.

Contact Jeff German at jgerman@reviewjournal.com or 702-380-8135. Find him on Twitter: @JGermanRJ.

Las Vegas Review Journal - Tonja Brown "The Nolan Klein Story"

Nevada ranks number one in the Country for the most corrupt attorneys… We need to clean up the corruption within our judicial system and it starts with arresting and prosecuting the corrupt attorneys and judges!

Massive CRIME SCENE at Nevada attorney General Office in Carson City because of the rampant corruption in the CORRUPT Nevada Courts 
LVRJ News source: http://www.reviewjournal.com/news/crime-courts/nevada-us-attorney-sees-rise-number-lawyers-prosecuted

bad lawyers judges

Prosecutors have noticed an “alarming” number of lawyers convicted of serious crimes in federal court in the past several years.tatro corrupt

A total of 23 lawyers, mostly from Las Vegas, have been convicted since 2008, according to the Nevada U.S. attorney’s office.

Since 2011, the number of convictions have increased nearly five times over the previous three years, records show.

There were four convictions between 2008 and 2010, but 19 between 2011 and this year. Eight attorneys either pleaded guilty or were convicted by a jury in 2013 alone.

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Dan Bogdenusdoj“In the last several years, the number of lawyers charged with federal crimes has increased dramatically,” U.S. Attorney Daniel Bogden says.

“Although we cannot speculate as to the reason for the rise in numbers, we can say that it is embarrassing and sad when lawyers violate the very laws they have taken an oath to uphold.”

Bogden calls the growing rate of attorney prosecutions “alarming” in his 2013 annual report on the accomplishments of his office.

bad nevada lawyers

bad attorneys

He isn’t alone in noticing the increase.crime

“There’s been a significant uptick,” says David Clark, the chief counsel for the State Bar of Nevada, which regulates lawyers. “It’s a combination of economic realities and the increased vigilance on the part of federal prosecutors to go after lawyers.”

Clark says attorneys have struggled in the failing economy just like everyone else and have been forced to look for other ways to make money, sometimes landing in legal and professional trouble.

Of the 23 convictions since 2008, a total of 19 involved financial crimes such as tax evasion, bank fraud and mortgage fraud, records show.

Bankruptcy attorney Randolph Goldberg pleaded guilty to tax evasion last year and is now serving a 1½-year sentence in federal prison. Defense lawyer and former prosecutor Paul Wommer, who was convicted by a jury of tax evasion last year, is serving a nearly 3½-year prison sentence. Both are temporarily suspended and can expect more disciplinary action from the State Bar when they get out of prison.

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disbarredBusiness Woman Series 24Four Las Vegas attorneys — the late David Amesbury, Jeanne Winkler, Barry Levinson and Brian Jones — pleaded guilty to fraud charges in the federal investigation into the massive takeover of Las Vegas-area homeowners associations.

Amesbury killed himself weeks after he pleaded guilty, and the other three lawyers are cooperating with prosecutors and waiting to be sentenced.

Another attorney, Keith Gregory, is to stand trial in October in the HOA case, and one key target, attorney Nancy Quon, committed suicide before federal authorities could charge her.

Winkler was disbarred in 2011 for stealing money from her clients, and Levinson agreed to disbarment as part of the plea deal he struck with federal prosecutors earlier this year. He is currently suspended from practicing law.

kolo news coverage part 1

Other well-known lawyers have run afoul of the law:

■ Harvey Whittemore, a onetime political power broker, was convicted last year of unlawfully funneling more than $133,000 to the campaign of Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, a Nevada Democrat. He was sentenced to two years in prison and must surrender in August. Whittemore is temporarily suspended from practicing law while the State Bar considers further action.

■ Noel Gage, who specialized in personal injury cases, pleaded guilty in 2010 to obstruction of justice in a federal investigation into an alleged fraud scheme involving a network of lawyers and physicians. He was sentenced to three years probation. Gage is off probation and his law license is temporarily suspended until the end of July. He must apply for reinstatement.

■ Lawrence Davidson, caught up in a political corruption probe a dozen years ago, pleaded guilty to mail fraud, money laundering and several other charges, including those related to his unlawful flight to Israel in 2006 to avoid standing trial. Davidson agreed to disbarment in 2005 after he was originally charged. He eventually returned to Las Vegas and was sentenced in 2012 to eight years in prison.

■ Gerry Zobrist, once a part-time Las Vegas justice of the peace, pleaded guilty last year to conspiracy to commit bank fraud and wire fraud in a multimillion-dollar scheme to use straw buyers to unlawfully purchase homes in the valley. He was sentenced to seven years in federal prison. His law license has been suspended pending further disciplinary action.

nv judicial ethics

REASON FOR THE RISE

drunk lawyerThomas Pitaro, a respected criminal defense lawyer who has been practicing in Las Vegas for 40 years, says the stress of the legal profession likely has contributed to the rise in criminal prosecutions of attorneys.coke

“I think there are very few attorneys who steal for the hell of it,” Pitaro says. “It’s systematic of other problems — drugs, alcohol, gambling and living above their means.”

Pitaro also believes federal authorities are spending more time investigating white collar and financial crimes that have a higher probability of involving lawyers and other professionals.

Clark says his organization has stepped up its own vigilance of lawyers in recent years and has been working closely with law enforcement authorities.

“We’ve been sharing more information and developing more contacts with law enforcement,” he explains.

Clark points to the Levinson case as a prime example of the State Bar’s strong working relationship with police and federal authorities.

At one point, Las Vegas police, federal authorities and the State Bar all were working cases against Levinson at the same time, Clark says.

culture-of-corruption

In his federal deal, Levinson not only pleaded guilty in the HOA fraud case, but he also pleaded guilty to tax evasion and embezzling more than $243,000 from his clients. His deal calls for him to receive no less than two years in prison. Any time behind bars he gets in state court on theft charges will run concurrently with his federal sentence.

Levinson’s willingness to agree to disbarment in his federal plea was a first for prosecutors and the State Bar. Goldberg last year agreed to a two-year suspension in his federal plea agreement.

“It shows the evolution of our cooperation with law enforcement authorities,” Clark says.

nevada bar

NEVADA STATE BAR DISCIPLINE

Something else that is evolving is the State Bar’s approach to disciplining lawyers.

bad lawyers nevadaA Nevada Supreme Court rule says the State Bar can move to temporarily suspend a lawyer upon a “final judgment of conviction,” and the bar has waited over the years until a lawyer is sentenced. That’s when the federal courts, which see most of the criminal cases, recognize a final judgment of conviction.

But two criminal cases against lawyers, one in Clark County District Court and another in federal court, has Clark looking for temporary suspensions before sentencing.

The District Court case is against defense attorney Brian Bloomfield, who pleaded guilty in December to felony charges stemming from a fraud investigation into a sweeping courthouse counseling scheme. Bloomfield has continued to represent clients in court the past six months while waiting to be sentenced.

The federal case involves Brian Jones, who pleaded guilty in the HOA case more than two years ago and is also waiting to be sentenced. Jones has since moved to Utah and is not practicing law in Las Vegas, but his license remains active.how-our-courts-are-used-by-criminals

Last month Clark filed a petition with the state Supreme Court seeking a temporary suspension for Bloomfield while the State Bar prepares to file a complaint against him that could lead to his disbarment.

The State Bar counsel filed a similar petition last week to get Jones temporarily suspended.

Clark is hoping the Supreme Court will more clearly define the broad rule, which also allows the State Bar to seek a suspension after a guilty plea or jury conviction.

“In the past this hasn’t been so much of a problem because there hasn’t been a long disconnect between a guilty plea and a sentencing,” Clark recently said. “But lately, we’ve been seeing a greater delay.”

 

Harvey Whittemore gonna take it up the butt

Harvey Whittemore gonna take it up the butt?

U.S. District Judge Larry Hicks

U.S. District Judge Larry Hicks

This motherfucker needs to go to prison along with most of the corrupt Nevada politicians like his ass licking buddy Harry Reid, judges, DA’s and other assholes committing treason, bribery and other heinous corruption.

From the RGJ:

When U.S. District Judge Larry Hicks decides the punishment for fallen power broker Harvey Whittemore on Monday, he’ll weigh Whittemore’s decades of work at the community and state level with the impact that illegal campaign contributions have on degrading the public’s trust of politics, experts said.

Las Vegas political consultant Sig Rogich said the four-year sentence recommended by the federal prosecutor does not fit the crime and fails to recognize Whittemore’s lifelong commitment to charitable work and community service.harvey whittemore lube

But others, including a probation officer and federal prosecutor, said Whittemore was a wealthy, well-connected and intelligent businessman who manipulated his employees and the system to try to hold onto his political power. They said a prison term would send the message that money does not rule the political landscape in Nevada.

At the end of a three-week trial in May, a federal jury found Whittemore guilty on two counts of making illegal campaign contributions to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid in 2007 and one count of causing Reid to file a false contribution report. The jury deadlocked on a fourth — lying to FBI agents. Prosecutors did not refile that charge.

Federal prosecutors and a federal probation officer recommended a 51-month prison sentence and a $133,400 fine for the 61-year-old former lobbyist and land developer, saying Whittemore’s actions were “conceived in greed, arrogance and the lust for power.”

His crime “affected the voting public at large and struck at the heart of the election process,” Assistant U.S. Attorney Steve Myhre said in his sentencing statement. Whittemore deserves “a period of incarceration as a means to promote respect for the law and to deter future abuses by other individuals seeking improperly to influence the electoral process.”

Whittemore’s lawyers argued their client’s support of charities and volunteer activities, his upstanding character, his commitment to his family and his integrity should make him eligible for probation, a fine and community service — not prison.

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harvery whittemore

go to jail
NOTE: We think Harvey and all the other assholes like him need to be in prison for life.The only way to cut out and kill the corruption is to lock these people up, or hang them for high treason. Nevada WATCHDOG.
By JANE ANN MORRISON LAS VEGAS REVIEW-JOURNAL

A federal parole officer has recommended that lobbyist Harvey Whittemore be sentenced to 51 months in prison.

Unbelievable.harvey whittemore lube

That’s one month longer than former Clark County Commissioner Dario Herrera received. Herrera took at least $60,000 in bribes, lied on the witness stand and did other nasty things as well.

I can’t believe U.S. District Judge Larry Hicks of Reno, the trial judge in both cases, will follow the recommendation from Wendy Beckner, a Las Vegas probation officer.

Hicks can’t possibly equate campaign contributions violations by Whittemore with overt corruption by Herrera, who sought not only cash from a strip club owner in exchange for his votes, but was willing to trade his votes for sexual favors.

The 51-month recommendation is not yet officially public, but I trust my source.

Whittemore, a prominent Reno lawyer and lobbyist before he decided to become a Southern Nevada land developer, was found guilty of funnelling $138,000 in campaign contributions through 29 people — family, employees and their spouses — to fulfill a commitment he made to raise $150,000 for U.S.Sen. Harry Reid’s 2008 campaign. In 2007, when Whittemore did it, conduit contributions were a crime.

Image written with Ambient Design LTD Goblin application toolkit.But in 2010, the U.S. Supreme Court legalized any amount of corporate contributions to political action committees. So today, Whittemore could just write a $150,000 check on one of his companies to a PAC, and that would be legal. No need to go through the charade of having others donate.

Whittemore faces a potential of five years in prison and a $250,000 fine on each of three counts — making unlawful campaign contributions to Reid, making contributions in the name of others and causing a false statement to be made to the Federal Election Commission.

  • Synduatic 5 years ago

    I am related to Harvey Whittemore and know that he does not use his influence to harm or disenfranchise anybody. Instead of attempting to blame Harvey for some of Nevada’s political mishaps by categorizing him as “above the law”, you should look to the state legislators for direction and accountability as they are the group that is responsible for holding people like Harvey Whittemore accountable.

  • phazon25811

    phazon25811 5 years ago

    A lot of corruption goes on in Nevada, and Harry Reid stands alongside Harvey Whittemore. Harvey Whittemore, who takes part in more than 100 Nevada Corporations (making him legally untouchable), is a part of the Lionel Sawyer & Collins law firm, the biggest and most powerful in the state of Nevada, having lobbyist in Carson City, is really untouchable. Both of them are legally above the law for what they have done and continue to do in Nevada. Shame on both of them.

Let’s compare that to what developer Jim Rhodes received for doing the same thing, albeit with smaller sums. Rhodes in 2002 used 14 of his employees to donate $27,000 to the above-mentioned bad guy Herrera, and another $10,000 to Reid. His evil deed was handled civilly, and he settled by paying a $159,000 fine to the FEC.

Ramon DeSage and his company, Cadeau Express, pleaded guilty to using five people to funnel $5,000 to presidential contender Robert Dole in 1996. He and his company paid $205,000 in criminal and civil penalties. He served no time. (This year, DeSage has been charged with defrauding investors out of $190 million and evading $31 million in taxes.)

Ray Novell pleaded guilty to two misdemeanors for arranging for $10,000 in illegal conduit contributions to Dole’s campaign. He and DeLuca Liquor and Wine paid a total of $160,000 in criminal and civil fines for reimbursing the donors, employees and spouses.

Recent sentences in other jurisdictions for conduit contributions have involved larger sums and drew tougher sentences.

A Virginia man who funneled $186,600 to the Obama campaign was sentenced to 28 months and fined $50,000.

Washington lobbyist Paul Magliocchetti made more than $386,000 in conduit contributions to various campaigns over six years. His crimes were described as one of the largest conduit frauds in history. His sentence was 27 months and a $75,000 fine.

Magliocchetti’s illegal contributions were nearly three times that of Whittemore’s, yet he was sentenced to half the time now being sought for Whittemore, a recomendation the judge is not obliged to follow.

How can Whittemore’s crime equal that of Herrera’s, who violated the public’s trust?

I’ve seen Judge Hicks in action and trust his common sense when he sentences Whittemore on Sept. 23. Hicks is not bound by the probation officer’s recommendation or even by what the prosecutors argue for. Judges have flexibility.

But a 51-month prison sentence for Whittemore is over the top.

Jane Ann Morrison’s column appears Monday, Thursday and Saturday. Email her at Jane@reviewjournal.com or call her at (702) 383-0275.

This article was published on 08.29.13.

The RN&R ran this story on March 3, 2005, when Harvey Whittemore was still at the top of the heap: www.newsreview.com/reno/public-power-private-man/content?oid=24231.

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My 10-year-old daughter ran across the parking lot breathless with excitement, waving a hundred dollar bill. Our Girl Scout Troop was selling cookies, and she couldn’t wait to tell me that a man gave them the money but didn’t want the cookies. I was suspicious, of course, and walked with her to the cookie station where another mother told me it was true. Harvey Whittemore just wanted to anonymously support the girls, and graciously peeled off a C-note, declining the goods.

Whittemore before

Whittemore before

This was my first exposure to the grand persona of Harvey Whittemore.

Fast forward 17 years to a disgraced Whittemore, found guilty of three felonies, awaiting sentencing in September. In those intervening years, I had lots of interaction with Harvey, the famous one-name lobbyist, representing Nevada’s most powerful special interests. As a legislator, I sometimes voted against him, but also gratefully accepted his help in getting my agenda through a cranky and recalcitrant state Senate where term limits hadn’t yet taken effect.

The facts of the crime, making excessive campaign contributions to Sen. Harry Reid, are

Whittemore after

Whittemore after

fairly straightforward, leading a reasonable person to the conclusion that Harvey did indeed break the law. He clearly influenced family, friends and co-workers to donate the maximum to Sen. Reid’s re-election campaign, and then reimbursed them through “gifts” which often exceeded the amount donated to the campaign. Harvey truly is a generous man.

Yes, Harvey was wrong to break the campaign laws. But his illegal actions pale in comparison with the legal bribery and abuse of the system that goes on all around us every day.

But despite the ugly set of facts, it’s hard to work up any outrage over Harvey’s crime, when corporations and political action committees brazenly do much worse, albeit legally. Recent U.S. Supreme Court decisions have opened corporate coffers since the Court ruled that campaign contributions are protected free speech, and therefore immune to restrictions, removing any semblance of fairness or transparency from the process.

pinky

Whittemore bribed Pinky

Harvey’s crime was thinking he could go a step further and make straw-man contributions, clearly against the law, calculating his actions would probably go unnoticed by a system that does little to regulate itself. He might have succeeded except for a separate lawsuit by his business partners who pointed the FBI in the right direction.

A smart lawyer, always looking to problem-solve a solution that satisfied everyone, could easily have hidden his contributions through legal means. Instead, Harvey got too comfortable with his wealth and influence, perhaps thinking no one would notice or care.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Steve Myhre told the Reno Gazette-Journal his office was happy with the convictions, helpfully explaining that “these laws exist to protect the election process from undue influence and provide transparency to the voting public.” Acting Assistant Attorney General Mythili Raman told reporters the conviction demonstrates the U.S. Justice Department is determined to prosecute people “who use illegal tricks to corrupt our democratic process. … The cornerstones of our campaign finance laws are contribution limits and transparency, and Mr. Whittemore’s crime was designed to undermine both.”

Neither mentioned the corrupting influence of political action committees that don’t have to disclose their donors or corporations that “bundle” their contributions to exceed the limits. These maneuvers are legal, but hardly less corrupting than Harvey’s crime.

Ironically, this case may open the way for unlimited contributions by individuals as it is expected to be appealed to the U.S. Supreme Court. Dominic Gentile, Harvey’s lawyer, says the case is far from over. “The U.S. Supreme Court has before it right now the precise issues that were raised by us pretrial, dealing with whether any limits on how much any individual can contribute to a campaign or to a person running for office are unconstitutional.”

Yes, Harvey was wrong to break the campaign laws. But his illegal actions pale in comparison with the legal bribery and abuse of the system that goes on all around us every day.

Harvey Whittemore guilty of three counts for illegal campaign contributions

A federal court jury in Reno has found Harvey Whittemore guilty of three counts of making illegal campaign contributions. They will resume deliberations on a charge the lobbyist and developer lied to the FBI.

 

scumbags

Harvey Whittemore, left, and U.S. Sen. Harry Reid, D-Nev., The jury began deliberating Tuesday afternoon in Whittemore’s trial on allegations of illegal campaign contributions. He is accused of unlawfully funneling $133,000 in contributions to Reid.

Reno Gazette-Journal is continuing the investigation into Harvey Whittemore’s election campaign activities with the RGJ Special Report.

F. Harvey Whittemore (born 17 August 1952) is an American lawyer and businessman in the Reno, Nevada, area.[1] As an influential lobbyist[2] for the gambling, alcohol and tobacco industries, and for his own ventures,[3][4] Whittemore has been called “one of Nevada’s most powerful men”.[1] Whittemore was the president of Coyote Springs Investment, LLC, the land-development company behind Coyote Springs, a controversial[5][6] $30 billion planned golf course community of 160,000 homes on 43,000 acres (170 km2) in the rural Nevada desert.[7][8] Whittemore’s close relationship with Senator Harry Reid came under scrutiny because of perceived legislative and political pressure favors allowing Coyote Springs to overcome regulatory problems.[9][10] In 2012, Whittemore came under grand jury investigation, initiated by the Federal Election Commission, to determine whether he was guilty of breaking federal campaign contribution laws.

We will follow this story and link to news and websites to tell this epic story of Nevada corruption & bribery. This  scandal encompasses the top political figures in Nevada politics including Harry Reid.

Keep coming back as this section grows.

Harvey Whittemore once bounded through Nevada’s Legislature as the embodiment of influence — a lobbyist for casinos and other powerful interests, a lawyer, a gregarious personality and sharp mind. He also was a lucrative campaign contributor for elected officials, which helped open doors.

Whittemore pushed boundaries — one time seeking legislation to allow a private pier to be built at Lake Tahoe for himself and his friends. Sometimes his overreach was literal.

In the 1990s, when the Legislature installed tall glass walls in the Assembly and Senate chambers to separate lawmakers from the public gallery, they became known as “Harvey’s Walls” since they stopped his habit of reaching into the chambers before votes on bills.

On Thursday, Whittemore, in a dark suit and shackles around his ankles, entered a Reno courtroom to offer his not-guilty plea on federal charges of campaign finance law violations and lying to investigators.
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