Gibbons creates crime commission

Gov. Jim Gibbons last week said he was creating a “crime commission” to deal with “mortgage fraud, internet crime, gang problems, Medicare/Medicaid fraud, prescription drug abuse, immigration issues and more.”

Las Vegas City Life reported last month that since the state consumer affairs office closed in July, “reports of every type of scam imaginable are up, state officials and local FBI agents say: Mortgage fraud (especially in the Latino community), identity theft, real estate scams, mail fraud, telemarketing and auto repair fraud.”

Gibbons recommended that the Nevada Legislature shut down the consumer office, which it did.

“Whether it is mortgage fraud, Medicaid fraud, or another type of scheme, everyone is working with tighter budgets and if crooks want to profit from fraud, I want them stopped and brought to swift justice,” Gibbons said in a prepared statement.

Earlier this year, Democrats in the Nevada Legislature were critical of Gibbons’ proposed cuts in consumer services.

“Cuts to consumer offices in the state would take us back at least two decades,” Washoe Assemblymember Sheila Leslie told the Nevada Appeal in February. “And these aren’t bureaucratic, do-nothing agencies. There’s no question in the Legislature’s mind how valuable they are.”

The governor responded that the Nevada attorney general could handle the caseload, but Senate Democratic floor leader Steven Horsford said the A.G. can enter a case only if it rises to the level of felony crime.