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August 21, 2014

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Federal Grand jury probes Gov. Guinn’s son

A former employee of Jeff Guinn, the son of former Governor Kenny Guinn, has been subpoenaed to appear before a federal grand jury investigating Guinn and his hard-money lending company Aspen Financial. That's just one of the startling revelations contained in the deposition of loan counselor and longtime Aspen Financial employee Tania Steffora.

Guinn is being sued by investors who claim he defrauded them of millions of dollars.

Steffora, who was represented at a July 9 deposition in a civil lawsuit by criminal attorney Dan Albregts, says in June the Justice Department delivered a subpoena to former Aspen employee Irma Andrade. Andrade, Steffora says, turned the subpoena over to Guinn who directed her to Albregts.

Steffora, who told attorneys she was a cocktail waitress and convention worker before becoming Guinn's personal assistant in 1999, said at one time she and her father held $3 million in Aspen investments. Steffora said she had no training in what state law required of hard money lenders and acknowledged Aspen routinely ignored state law requiring that investors sign disclosure documents before depositing money. Guinn, she says, told state regulators it was "virtually impossible" to comply with the law and "they understood." Aspen Financial has received high ratings from the state's Mortgage Lending Division. Guinn and his attorney John Bailey did not respond to requests for comment.

Steffora said she often solicited investments for loans secured by property for which she had no appraisal, and provided varying degrees of disclosure to potential investors, depending on who they were.

On Friday, Clark County District Judge Allan Earl rejected Guinn's efforts to seal court documents in a civil case revealing Aspen Financial V.P. Elaine Elliott received a target letter from the U.S. Justice Department. Sources say such a letter amounts to an intent to indict.

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