Man indicted in construction defect scheme

Article Courtesy of The Las Vegas Review-Journal

By Jeff German

Published December 14, 2011


A former Las Vegas construction company employee was indicted by a Clark County grand jury Friday on charges of stealing more than $495,000 in a construction defect scheme.

Dax Lee Louderman, 39, was charged with 13 felony counts of theft in a scheme that defrauded his former company, Alpha 1 Construction, and the Stone Canyon Homeowners Association in Henderson.

The unlawful activities occurred from August 2008 through May 2009, the indictment alleges.

The case is the first spinoff in the massive federal investigation into fraud and corruption at Las Vegas Valley homeowners associations, sources close to the investigation said.

The same investigators worked the Louderman case but decided to file state charges against him, rather than federal charges, the sources said.

The case is not said to be tied to the activities of construction defect attorney Nancy Quon and former Silver Lining Construction owner Leon Benzer, central figures in the federal investigation, which has embroiled a dozen other homeowners associations.

So far, 10 defendants in the federal investigation have pleaded guilty, and Justice Department lawyers are gearing up to file another round of plea agreements in federal court.

The scheme, which dates to 2003, involved stacking homeowners association boards with friendly members who would hand out legal work and construction defect contracts to co-conspirators. The investigation, pursued primarily by the FBI and Las Vegas police, has targeted lawyers, judges and former police officers.

More spinoff cases similar to Louderman's are said to be coming in the weeks ahead.

After his indictment Friday, Louderman went through booking at the Clark County Detention Center and was to be released on his own recognizance. He is to appear for arraignment on Jan. 4 before newly appointed District Judge Carolyn Ellsworth.

Alpha 1 owner Don Martinez said Friday his company was a victim in the scheme and cooperated fully with investigators.

Martinez said the IRS first brought the allegations to light.

"Alpha 1 has been working hand-in-hand with the Internal Revenue Service and the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department for the last year in accumulating evidence to bring this case to indictment," Martinez said.

The company, which plans to continue cooperating with authorities as the case moves to trial, also is pursuing civil litigation against Louderman, Martinez said.

The indictment describes Louderman as Alpha 1's "construction manager," but Martinez said he was more of a "sales/marketer."

He was fired in June 2009, Martinez said.

Louderman was charged with stealing money from Alpha 1 and the Stone Canyon Homeowners Association through a variety of unlawful transactions in 2008 and 2009.

He diverted money from Stone Canyon meant to go to an Alpha 1 bank account to a personal account he set up with a similar Alpha 1 name, the indictment alleges.

He also double-billed Stone Canyon for repair work and charged for work that was never completed, the indictment alleges.

The 13 separate thefts in the scheme ranged from $2,988 to $130,043, the indictment alleges.