Guinn appeals bankruptcy judge’s ruling

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Former Nevada Governor Kenny Guinn and son Jeff. Photo credit: The Anointed Son: A True Story of Greed, Power and Blind Trust
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Former Nevada Governor Kenny Guinn and son Jeff. Photo credit: The Anointed Son: A True Story of Greed, Power and Blind Trust

Jeff Guinn, the son of former Nevada Governor Kenny Guinn, is appealing a federal bankruptcy judge’s ruling that he “fraudulently concealed information” from investors on four loans at issue in litigation spanning a decade.

Guinn operated his hard money lending company “loosely” according to Judge Gary Spraker, who issued his ruling two and a half years after the 2016 trial that lasted two weeks.

Guinn is choosing to have his appeal heard by a federal district judge rather than the bankruptcy appeals court, according to the filing.

The Nevada Mortgage Lending Division is declining to comment on the judgment.

The division is aware of the recent court action involving Mr. Guinn and is in the process of reviewing it,” a division spokesperson said in an email. “Because the matter is still open and ongoing, further details cannot be provided at this time. If the division finds cause to take action against the license upon completion of the review, the final actions would be public record and will therefore be posted online at http://nmlsconsumeraccess.org/.”

The Mortgage Lending Division allowed Guinn to put his mortgage agent license to work last year for Battle Born Capital, after suspending his broker’s license and Aspen’s in 2013 because of insolvency.  

Individuals who turned over their money to Guinn, many of whom admit they were attracted to the prospect of investing with the governor’s son, lost millions when the recession hit and investor pools dried up. That put an end to Guinn’s business model of serial refinancing, which earned him fees but eroded lenders’ equity in the property securing the loans.

The state failed to find wrongdoing by Aspen on numerous complaints filed by investors, and deferred to the outcome of civil litigation, which few of the investors – many on fixed incomes — could afford. 

State mortgage regulators consistently gave Guinn the highest rating possible during their examinations of the company, a seeming contradiction of the bankruptcy judge’s contention that “Guinn ran Aspen loosely.” 

Division of Business and Industry chief Michael Brown declined to discuss the matter. 

“Director Brown is declining your request to speak about current matters under investigation as well as prior actions taken during a time in which he was not at the Department,” a spokesperson for the Division of Business and Industry said in an email.

Brown was recently appointed to the position by Governor Steve Sisolak.  Guinn’s attorney, John R. Bailey, was a member of Sisolak’s transition team.

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.

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