LAS VEGAS (AP) — A federal judge in Las Vegas has begun accepting guilty pleas from defendants in a sweeping probe of southern Nevada homeowner associations steering business to favored attorneys and businesses.

15 defendants are due to take plea deals Thursday.

Each is pleading guilty to felony conspiracy to commit mail and wire fraud, and agreeing to cooperate with the prosecution.

They include three retired Las Vegas police officers, a former homeowner community manager, two lawyers and several admitted straw buyers.

The pleas will bring the number of people who have pleaded guilty since last year to 26. One was found dead in March at a relative’s property in California.

Prosecutors say the defendants rigged elections to pack homeowner association boards with co-conspirators.

Copyright 2012 The Associated Press.


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