Burned Investors Livid Over Guinn Comeback

Jeff Guinn, son of former Nevada Governor Kenny Guinn, who emerged unscathed from an FBI investigation and federal grand jury only to have his company’s mortgage brokers license revoked by Nevada regulators, is back in the hard money private lending business.  In the decade since the mortgage meltdown, Guinn’s former investors in the now-defunct Aspen Financial have been licking their wounds and trying to make sense of how they lost their savings after they pooled their money to make multi-million dollar loans to some of the biggest developers in town.

When the bottom fell out of the market, Guinn, who claims he was a victim of the economy, failed to protect investors by foreclosing and exercising personal guarantees against borrowers.  The results were catastrophic.  Guinn’s loans to himself and other borrowers left lenders out hundreds of millions of dollars.  Some loans, which Guinn claimed were secured by real estate, were subjected to “intercreditor agreements,” which prevented investors from foreclosing.

But it wasn’t the avalanche of defaults that put Guinn’s Aspen Financial out of business.  It was Guinn’s own borrowing that prompted state regulators to declare Aspen insolvent and revoke its license in 2013.

Now, in a message to his former investors inviting them to invest in his new private lending venture, Battle Born Capital, Guinn bemoans the dearth of community banks and other alternative sources of funding for developers in the post-recession era.

Guinn fails to mention that he, his father and partners Sean Corrigan and Kent Barry borrowed heavily from Community Bank and failed to repay approximately $40 million, a liability that helped seal the bank’s demise and takeover by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation.

And there’s the $7.9 million Jeff Guinn, his wife Monica and Aspen Financial borrowed but never repaid to another community bank, City National.

Guinn, who claimed in a lawsuit that he wasn’t required to follow the state lending law while his father was governor, reassures potential investors that “Amanda Stevens, a local attorney, will be working with me on the day to day operations, individually documenting each loan, and handling all compliance.”

Guinn goes on to describe Stevens’ background, noting she’s “a veteran of the hard money lending industry.” Stevens was director of loan administration for USA Capital. The company filed bankruptcy in 2006 and its president was sentenced to 12 years in prison on one count of wire fraud and ordered to pay $86 million in restitution.

Stevens recently worked for Bailey and Kennedy, the law firm that represented Guinn against a spate of lawsuits.

Former investors marvel that the State Mortgage Lending Division would allow Guinn to operate a mortgage brokerage again.  The MLD says it was Aspen Financial’s license that was revoked, not Guinn’s.

A note of disclosure:  I briefly performed investigative work for attorney Dennis Prince, who represented one of Guinn’s former investors, Donna Ruthe, who is suing Guinn in bankruptcy court.  The trial ended in October 2016.  Visiting Judge Gary Spraker has yet to rule.

 

Dana Gentry
Reporter | Dana Gentry is a native Las Vegan and award-winning investigative journalist. She is a graduate of Bishop Gorman High School and holds a Bachelor's degree in Communications from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. Gentry began her career in broadcasting as an intern at Channel 8, KLAS-TV. She later became a reporter at Channel 8, working with Las Vegas TV news legends Bob Stoldal and the late Ned Day. Gentry left her reporting job in 1985 to focus on motherhood. She returned to TV news in 2001 to launch "Face to Face with Jon Ralston" and the weekly business programs In Business Las Vegas and Vegas Inc, which she co-anchored with Jeff Gillan. Dana is the mother of four adult children, three cats, three dogs and a cockatoo.

3 COMMENTS

  1. Goes to show you how much white collar crime and corruption are going on in America right now and the damage it does to average folks. White collar prosecution has plummeted since the recession because authorities were sacred they might spook the recovery anemic as it was. It’s also a fact that the Attorneys General tasked with prosecuting these crimes are from the same “caste” as the defendant in that they known the same people, went to the same schools and worked at the same companies. The social network of relationships and ties protect and shelter these people and nurture a sense of entitlement in them and unfortunately the infrastructure of the courts is bought into this feeling as well. Socialize the risk privatize the profit. And we wonder why wage growth is stalled, benefits are shrinking and almost half of America is one emergency away from losing everything.

  2. I cannot believe this man is still walking around a free man. I guess the reason he got away with ripping off millions and millions of dollars is because he chose a certain group of people from his pool of investors at Aspen Financial. He chose mostly all elderly people who wouldn’t live long enough or have enough of their lives savings left to spend on attorneys fees to endure the lengthy legal procedure it would be. How on earth can the State on Nevada re-license him. Jeff Guinn is Aspen Financial. What is the Mortgage Lending Division thinking on this one? Or is it? Does this former Governors son have that much clout in Nevada? Why hasn’t the State of Nevada, The F.B.I., or Attorney General, whoever went after Jeff Guinn for elder abuse. I would think that what has happened to my parents by Jeff Guinn is considered elder abuse. I am just now finding out why my parents money is gone and how it has ruined their final years they have left. At 79 years old they should be protected by Adult Protective Services and protected against swindlers like Jeff Guinn. He personally took out loans and secured it with his family trust. A portion of those funds were my parents money. They never got their money back as well as over 10 years of unpaid interest. How does he just up and reopen the same business he used to swindle a bunch of elderly people a decade ago. Is he going to target the elderly investors at his new business?

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