January 21, 2009

$22M down payment ill-gotten, suit claims

The down payment for a $123.6 million parcel of land in North Las Vegas, Nev., was made with ill-gotten gains from a known scam artist, a lawsuit claims.

Apex Holding Co. and Apex Utility Holding Co., knew or should have known that the $22 million down payment from Val Southwick's company VesCor Capital Corp. for 6,000 acres of land was part of a deal that would never come to fruition, a lawsuit filed in a federal court in Salt Lake City claims.

Southwick was sentenced in June to a one-to-15-year sentence for nine counts of securities fraud, the Las Vegas Sun reported Wednesday.

The case involved more than 800 investors duped by Southwick's Ponzi scheme that netted $180 million. Southwick also was fined by Nevada and Utah in the 1990s for selling fraudulent or unregistered securities, the newspaper said.

The real estate group named in the suit includes Las Vegas Mayor Oscar Goodman, the Sun reported.

The mayor is not on the board of directors of Apex, and he has no active interest in Apex, a mayoral spokesman said.