It took years but I finally have the FBI’s file of its criminal investigation of Aspen Financial, the defunct commercial real estate lending company owned by Jeff Guinn, the son of former Nevada Governor Kenny Guinn.
Thousands of investors lost hundreds of millions of dollars when Guinn’s hard money brokerage engaged in serial refinancing that earned him lucrative fees and left his investors holding the bag.
My first Freedom of Information Request for the FBI file on Jeff Guinn was rejected, since Guinn is very much alive and refused to give me consent to obtain the file. I did make a pitch to Guinn and his attorney, John Bailey, that the file may contain exculpatory information that I could report, but to no avail.
Then an epiphany. Jeff Guinn is a living person but Aspen Financial is not.
Bingo! This time my Freedom of Information request came back with more than 55,000 pages of potentially relevant material on Aspen Financial. The FBI told me it would take years to process the request and offered me a deal. Since most of the file consisted of Grand Jury testimony that would remain confidential, I could get moved to the front of the line and receive the government’s express service if I agreed to accept two main files of about 600 pages. Deal.
So in honor of U.S. Attorney Daniel Bogden’s departure, here’s one of the most revealing pages – a target letter sent in conjunction with the investigation – a case which never resulted in an indictment.
Grand Jury proceedings are notoriously one-sided and generally result in indictments.
I imagine Mr. Bogden remains under some obligation not to discuss what happened to make the Justice Department close its file on Aspen Financial, but just in case he’s at liberty, I’m eager to chat.
For those of you who are unfamiliar with federal criminal code, here’s a key to the alleged crimes that were investigated:
18 U.S.C. Section 1341 Mail Fraud
18 U.S.C. Section 1343 Wire Fraud
18 U.S.C. Section 1344 Bank Fraud
18 U.S.C. Section 1349 Attempt Conspiracy
18 U.S.C. Section 1956 Money Laundering
18 U.S.C. Section 1957 Engaging in Monetary Transactions Derived From Specified Illegal Activity
The FBI file includes pages on many prominent Nevada politicians and business people. More on that to come.
Plus! Who is the high powered state official who not only did legal work for Aspen Financial, but is currently defending a Guinn-aided attempt by an Aspen borrower to short sell his own lenders? More to come on that, too.
Disclosure: In 2015 and 2016 I did investigative work for an attorney involved in litigation against Jeff Guinn. That work led to discoveries which are included in my upcoming book on Jeff and Kenny Guinn, The Anointed Son: A True Story of Greed, Power and Blind Trust