Shared by Deborah Goonan, Independent American Communities Blog
Barry Levinson suffered from a heart condition while serving time for his various crimes to defraud HOA homeowners and legal clients.
By Jeff German
Las Vegas Review-Journal
A disbarred Las Vegas attorney convicted in the scheme to take over and defraud homeowners associations has died in federal custody at a local hospice, one of his lawyers said Thursday.
The death of Barry Levinson on Wednesday night came as lawyers Brent Bryson and Cal Potter were preparing a civil rights lawsuit against authorities over his deteriorating health.
Levinson, 48, who had been suffering from heart problems, is the seventh player in the massive HOA scheme to die since 2008. He was among 42 defendants convicted in the long-running investigation regarded as the largest public corruption case in Southern Nevada.
The Clark County coroner’s office confirmed it had a case on Levinson, but said it could not provide information on his death.
Bryson said he believes Levinson did not receive proper medications while originally being held in August at the Clark County Detention Center and then the High Desert State Prison, about 40 miles northwest of Las Vegas, just south of Indian Springs.
Bryson said he and Potter visited Levinson at the hospice on Tuesday and found him having trouble breathing and only able to remain conscious for brief periods of time.
“The lack of regular medication is what started Barry’s health to spiral downward and the eventual need for heart surgery,” Bryson said. “Because of his status as a prisoner no hospital here in Nevada would perform the surgery.
“We believe Barry’s life could have been saved if the surgery had been performed timely. It wasn’t, and now Barry is dead.”
Despite his troubles with the law, Levinson deserved better, Bryson said.
“Some people want to focus on Barry’s shortcomings,” he said. “It’s important to remember that Barry was a human being who deserved proper medical care and treatment regardless of his criminal convictions.”
Levinson’s health problems worsened after District Judge Michael Villani gave him a stiff prison sentence Aug. 13 for a state conviction involving the theft of money from his clients. The judge ordered him taken into custody from the courtroom that day, just a week before he was to surrender to federal authorities.