A retired Metro Police officer and his wife have agreed to plead guilty in a bank fraud case involving a downtown Las Vegas cafe — a case running parallel with the Las Vegas area's homeowner association corruption scandal.
A federal judge on Friday unsealed papers revealing that retired Metro Lt. Ben Kim and his wife, Lisa Kim, have agreed to plead guilty later this month for their role in the cafe bank fraud.
Earlier this week, it was revealed Lisa Kim has also been charged for her role as a community manager in the long-running scheme in which certain condominium association board of director elections were rigged so that the schemers could award construction defect lawsuit and repair work to favored firms.
Ben Kim was a partner in the Courthouse Cafe in the Regional Justice Center with the late attorney David Amesbury, who before his death pleaded guilty for his role in the cafe bank fraud and in the HOA corruption scheme.
A third partner in the Courthouse Cafe was construction company owner Leon Benzer, who hasn't been charged with any crimes. It's believed Benzer is the target of the HOA fraud investigation as he, Lisa Kim and the late construction defect attorney Nancy Quon were all involved in several condo associations. Before her death, Quon denied wrongdoing.
Details haven't yet been revealed about the bank fraud case involving the Kims at the Courthouse Cafe, with federal prosecutors saying in court papers only that the case against the Kims "arises in connection with a scheme to fraudulently obtain a bank loan for the Courthouse Cafe LLC in Las Vegas.''
In the Amesbury plea agreement, he acknowledged participating in a scheme in which information about the Courthouse Cafe lease and its investors was misrepresented to Clark County and banks and in which financial statements were falsified to hide this information.
The cafe space at the courthouse is now a Capriotti's sandwich shop.
Ben Kim becomes the 26th person to be hit with criminal charges in the HOA and Courthouse Cafe investigation that's been under way since 2008 or earlier.