January 9, 2018
Las Vegas, NV – Nevada Attorney General Adam Paul Laxalt announced that Thomas Arvel Benson, 56, of Las Vegas, pleaded guilty in two related cases to offering a false instrument for filing or recording, a category “C” felony, and offering a false representation concerning title, a category “C” felony. The fraudulent acts were committed between May and June of 2016. The investigation commenced after the Attorney General’s Office began its full time participation in the FBI’s Joint Terrorism Task Force, a task force where local, state and federal agencies collaborate to combat groups that engage in criminal acts motivated by hateful, violent and radical ideologies.
According to court records, Benson knowingly filed a false Nevada Residential Lease Agreement with the Clark County Recorder’s Office and knowingly executed a notice of legal action on Clark County property that contained a material misstatement.
“Nearly two years ago, my office added an investigator to the FBI’s Joint Terrorism Task Force, making this investigation and prosecution possible,” said Laxalt. “Although the guilty pleas in this case are fraud related, I hope they send a message to groups that espouse hateful, violent, and radical ideologies.”
Category “C” felonies are punishable by up to five years imprisonment and a fine up to $10,000. Benson is scheduled to appear before the Eighth Judicial District Court on May 7th, 2018 for sentencing in both cases.
In July 2016, the Nevada Legislature’s Interim Finance Committee unanimously approved AG Laxalt’s request to create a Financial Fraud Unit to combat increasing financial fraud within the State. Among the 10 positions created using non-taxpayer settlement funds was an AG criminal investigator dedicated to the FBI’s Joint Terrorism Task Force.
To read the criminal indictment against Thomas Benson for offering a false instrument for filing or recording, click here. To read the indictment for false representation concerning title, click here. To file a complaint about someone suspected of committing theft or fraud, click here.