Convicted Sex Predator Michael Lee Turner Accused of Targeting Bereaved Woman with Property Heist in Las Vegas Real Estate Swindle
A convicted sex predator is being implicated in a sophisticated real estate swindle, accused of using a cast of characters to con a pregnant woman out of her mother’s estate shortly after her death.
Nevada real estate agent Michael Lee Turner, 60, is being accused of hatching a scheme to exploit a bereaved woman in a real estate grift involving a myriad of attorneys, accountants and other middlemen, using deceptive and unethical tactics to acquire the property under false pretenses.
ANATOMY OF A REAL ESTATE HEIST
June Edna Trissel, mother of Karlenda Trissel, passed away without issuing a will. This put the deceased woman’s former property in jeopardy, and Turner’s firm immediately capitalized on that uncertainty. A front owned by Turner, Home Acquisition Co, reached out to Karlenda to start the process of legalized robbery of her mother’s estate.
“The property has not been converted to real property and the owners…have both passed away. The notices from the City Of Las Vegas can become civil penalties in the amount of $19,500, they will not give us the information on whether they will actually post the lien against the property. At this point you would have to initiate probate and all family members would have to be notified and you would become the administrator,” the letter from Home Acquisition Co to Karlenda read, offering her “$50,000 and pay for the attorney fees of the probate” to purchase the estate.
While Karlenda was being contacted, certified public accountant Gary Campbell, represented by attorney David Crosby, filed with the state of Nevada to be independent administrator over the estate, which is permitted under Nevada state code in cases such as these. Campbell appraised the value of the estate at $120,000 on Jan. 14, 2020, which is $70,000 more than what was offered by Turner’s firm.
Two days after Campbell’s appraisal, Karlenda Tressel agreed to the deal offered to her by Turner’s firm for $50,000. She was not required to be notified of the actual value of the home beforehand. Making matters even more suspicious, Campbell is listed as the registered agent for another Turner front group named “SPM-MLT, LLC.”
Karlenda would never see the $50,000 she had been led to believe she would receive for her mother’s estate. Turner’s firm repeatedly assured Karlenda that she would be paid the $50,000, but she would ultimately only be paid $12,500 under the rationale that Karlenda only possessed a fourth of her mother’s estate along with three of her estranged relatives. Turner’s firm claimed that “each child of deceased as same right to equal share” to welch on the initial agreement. Turner told Karlenda he would cover all legal fees, and would communicate with Trissel’s siblings on her behalf. Turner’s longtime business partner Joshua Milonas was also involved.
“Lots of misinformation and miscommunication and I have to track ALL of it down like a hawk,” Karlenda wrote in an email to a Home Acquisition Co representative, pleading with Turner and his associates that she needed the money desperately because of her pregnancy and financial concerns relating to her unborn child. Her plea for compassion fell on deaf ears.
After paying as little as $12,500 for the property, it was sold through estate administrator Gary Campbell to Armand Fried, another attorney closely connected to Turner, for $76,000. Fried would flip the property for $165,000 in a different sale later in the year. Karlenda Trissel fell victim to a con that affects countless families nationwide – how unscrupulous attorneys, real estate agents and accountants exploit loopholes in the law to “legally” rob people of their homes and their inheritances.
TURNER’S HISTORY AS A PREDATOR
Documents obtained by Big League Politics show that years before Turner became a real estate grifter, he was convicted of Attempt Sexual Assault in 1986. This conviction was the result of a deal struck with the courts that involved Turner pleading guilty to reduced charges. A graphic detailing of Turner’s behavior underscores the horrific nature of the crime that was perpetrated many decades ago.
The gruesome act was described as follows in an internal law enforcement document written in 2006:
“The subject (Michael Lee Turner) met the 32 year old female victim in a bar. They went to the subject’s residence where the victim was drug into a bedroom. He then ripped off her skirt and pantyhose, pried her legs apart and inserted his penis into her vagina. He also forced his penis into her mouth. He grabbed her neck and took a towel and put it over her nose and mouth so she could not breathe. She was able to remove the towel and began to scream and the subject threatened to kill her. She continued to scream and the subject placed his fingers down her throat, choking her. He then raped her two more times before she was able to escape and ran down the street nude.”
Turner eventually had the offense expunged from the Nevada Sexual Offender Registry, against the objections of the Clark County District Attorney, in an attempt to sanitize his record as he was building his crooked Las Vegas real estate empire.
In an overly bureaucratic society governed by laws written to favor the rich and well-connected, cases like this have become all too common. Karlenda Trissel is one of countless victims who have been targeted by scams such as this land grab perpetrated by Turner and his associates that occur every single day in the former land of the free.