Federal Court Jury Convicts Former Nevada Legislator Harley L. Harmon for Investment Fraud Scheme
Las Vegas, Nev. - Daniel G. Bogden, United States Attorney for the District of Nevada, Ellen B. Knowlton, Special Agent-in-Charge of the Federal Bureau of Investigation for Nevada, and Clark County Sheriff Bill Young, of the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department, announce that former State of Nevada legislator, HARLEY L. HARMON, age 55, of Las Vegas, was convicted by a federal jury today of 34 counts of Mail Fraud, violations of Title 18, United States Code, Section 1341. The trial began on January 27, 2003, and was presided over by United States District Court Judge Phillip M. Pro.
HARMON was indicted by a federal grand jury in Las Vegas on April 18, 2001, and charged with 71 counts of Mail Fraud. Thirty-seven of those counts were dismissed by the United States at trial, partly due to unavailability of witnesses. According to the court records, from approximately 1994 through 1997, HARMON controlled and operated Harley L. Harmon Mortgage Company, which loaned money to Las Vegas-area real estate developers. Harley L. Harmon Mortgage Company funded the loans with monies from private investors. Advertisements were placed in the local newspapers, and investors were told that their monies would be invested and placed in first deeds of trust, and used in specific projects. The evidence at trial proved that HARMON intentionally placed their investment funds in second and fourth deeds of trust, and diverted their funds to real estate projects other than those in which HARMON told them they had invested. In 1997, the State of Nevada Financial Institutions Division revoked HARMON's mortgage license and the real estate projects were not completed, and investors lost their money. The real estate projects used in HARMON's scheme included Heather Ridge, Rosewood, and Greenpoint, all residential developments, and Lake Mead Storage, a boat storage facility. The actual loss to the investors will be determined at sentencing.
HARMON is also charged in the Indictment with criminal forfeiture relating to Mail Fraud. An adjudication hearing on that count will be held on Friday, February 21, 2003, before Judge Pro.
The Court set a May 2, 2003 sentencing date for HARMON. He is facing five years in prison and a $250,000 fine on each count, plus restitution. HARMON is released on a personal recognizance bond pending sentencing.
The case was investigated by Special Agents of the FBI and Detectives with the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department, and prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorneys Daniel Schiess and Brian Pugh.