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Clark County family court judge accused of fraud, conspiracy

Clark County family court judge accused of fraud, conspiracy

By Joyce Lupiani. CREATED Oct 31, 2012

Las Vegas, NV (KTNV) -- Clark County Judge Steven E. Jones, age 54, and five other individuals have been charged in an investment fraud scheme, according to U.S. Attorney Daniel G. Bogden.

The other five individuals are Thomas A. Cecrle, Jr., 55, and Terry J. Wolfe, 57, all of Henderson, Nev.; Constance C. Fenton, 68, of Gig Harbor, Wash.; Mark L. Hansen, 54, of Corvallis, Ore.; and Ashlee M. Martin, 38, of Las Vegas.

The charges include one count of conspiracy to commit mail fraud and wire fraud, six counts of wire fraud, one count of securities fraud, one count of conspiracy to commit money laundering, two counts of engaging in money transactions in criminally-derived property, and nine counts of money laundering.

According to the indictment, the accused allegedly induced individuals to loan them under the guise they would be repaid quickly and would earn high rates of interest.

Thomas Cecrle was portrayed to the victims as having a special position with the federal government with access to public officials and secret government programs.

The victims were also told that Cecrle had special interests and property rights in Arizona and Nevada, including water rights in northern Arizona, land rights on the Las Vegas Strip, and access to war bonds.

The victims were solicited by mail, telephone and over the Internet and at least 10 bank accounts were used in the commission of the fraud.

When the victims became suspicious, they were referred to Judge Jones who allegedly used his office to vouche for Cecrle and the investment scheme.

Cercle is the former brother-in-law of Jones and has a history of run-ins with law enforcement, including incidents involving drugs and domestic violence.

It is also not the first time that Cercle has been accused of questionable financial dealings.

The case is being investigated by the FBI.

Joyce Lupiani

Joyce Lupiani

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Joyce Lupiani is the managing editor for PositivelyLV.com and contributes to KTNV.com and NowTrending.com.