After years of court sanctioned bilking of wealthy senior citizens and disabled persons, the biggest shake up in Clark County District Court history has just forced the immediate removal of two well-known jurists who were allegedly doing the bidding of veteran for-hire private guardian Jared E. Shafer and his protégés.
Too often, the "ward's" wishes to move to another state to be with family are ignored by the court so the estate can continue paying the guardian's outrageous fees until the ward dies, and sometimes for years thereafter with the court's approval (see: Grave Robbery Under Color Of Law! The story of the late Leanne Peccole).
Another law was enacted to require all for-hire guardians to be licensed and bonded - a first for Nevada. Most decisions made by Hoskin and Norheim were based on the amount of wealth the surviving spouse had, not their actual needs (poor people are not provided private professional guardians). After the passing of a parent, out of state relatives would soon learn that their surviving mother or father was secretly made a ward of the court during their grief, and that a stranger was the best choice to be given full power of attorney by Hoskin or Norheim to manage their loved one's estate without allowing input from family members living outside Nevada. In some cases, family members who actually live in Nevada were disapproved if their loved one was extremely wealthy. The appointed for-hire guardian would tell Hoskin or Norheim during a hearing that the local relative was an "exploiter" or "unfit," often falsely accusing the relative of drug addiction or being a compulsive gambler. In all cases researched by INSIDE VEGAS, Hoskin or Norheim took the side of the for-hire guardian, and the fleecing continued. '
The out of state family is told that someone called authorities to report that their parent or relative was in need of help, and a for-hire guardian was "temporarily" appointed by the Family Court to look after the physical needs and assets of the loved one. Within months, sometimes weeks, the temporary status is changed to permanent by Hoskin or Norheim when its determined that there are no relatives living in Nevada who can care for the "ward" allowing life's savings to be drained through double charges, excessive fees, and outright thievery by the appointed "guardian," and assets can be liquidated without anyone's approval (see cashed checks below, and review this website for documentation.
This legal, but immoral practice was finally exposed by Nevada media, and the scam's effect on Las Vegas' second most lucrative business - retirement - is only now being realized, i. e., who would want to retire to Sun City Anthem in Henderson, or Sun City Summerlin in Las Vegas if they knew that local Family Courts would collude with certain private "guardians" to take the retiree for everything they're worth before their children could receive their inheritance?
I wrote my first editorial on this subject in April 2002, for a local weekly newspaper. The editorial was republished by an Internet magazine on May 31, 2006.
The National Association to Stop Guardian Abuse (NASGA) also began reporting Clark County guardian abuse cases in April of 2006. The organization's president, Elaine Renoire, has closely followed the exploitation of Las Vegas victims Marcy Dudeck and Guadalupe Olvera.
INSIDE VEGAS began exposing this racket February 25, 2013, on AmericanMafia.com in a story entitled "GUADALUPE OLVERA'S WAR." Several more columns followed until I was able to expose the modus operandi of the scheme in "Las Vegas' Death Watch - The chain of events start at Sun City Anthem and end in private guardian Jared E. Shafer's pocket" published March 17, 2014, on AmericanMafia.com. In the column, I explained how a cartel of local attorneys, judges and guardians would single out wealthy elderly couples who had no relatives in Nevada, and after the death of a spouse, collude to drain their estates.
Up until that point, no one in Las Vegas media would ever believe such a horrible thing was happening right under our eyes to our most vulnerable citizens. I persisted writing, hoping the stories would gain traction before more people were injured.
The next to tell this sordid story was The Vegas Voice, a hard copy publication with a vast circulation to local senior citizens and retirees. On August 18, 2014, the paper began running a hard hitting series exposing the ill-deeds and names of corrupt for-hire guardians. But the paper went one step further. Publisher Dan Roberts and Political Editor Rana Goodman flew to the state capitol in Carson City to lobby for changes in the guardianship laws, specifically that out of state relatives could handle the finances of loved ones living in Nevada, and that all private for-hire guardians be licensed and bonded. They also circulated a petition gathering over 3,500 signatures. The paper soon received a letter from attorneys Gardener Jolly and Bruce Woodbury threatening a libel (SLAPP) lawsuit if they continued writing about their client, for-hire guardian April Parks. However, The Vegas Voice stories continued unfettered until Parks' double billing and lack of accountability was confirmed by KTNV Contact 13.
Then on March 6, 2015, KTNV TV Contact 13 News producer Kean Bauman and investigative reporter Darcy Spears aired "Valley man wrestles with guardianship system," which told of 25 year old cerebral palsy victim Jason Hanson, and how for-hire guardian Jared Shafer allegedly took him for everything he had.
INSIDE VEGAS videographer Mike Christ had interviewed Jason in April, 2014, for my March 3, INSIDE VEGAS column. Here is a LINK to Mike's heart rendering video: "Special Administrator Jared E. Shafer takes house and inheritance from 24 year old man with cerebral palsy."
April 11, 2015, the Las Vegas Review-Journal, Nevada's largest newspaper, began a series of front page stories written by investigative reporter Colton Lochhead. The first story was "Clark Countys private guardians may protect or just steal and abuse." In the same RJ edition was the story of Guadalupe Olvera; "Escape was only option for an old soldier trapped in guardian system," telling about the 95 year old World War 2 hero's exploitation by Jared E. Shafer, and his escape from Shafer's abusive custody.
Then on April 17, 2015, another of Colton Lochhead's stories appeared on the RJ's front page entitled "Chief judge vows to improve guardianship process." On April 21, the front page article by Lochhead headlined; "Clark County Commissioners want reform of appalling guardianship program," followed April 26, with an Editorial; "Guarding the guardians," and the May 5, story by Lochhead; "There's now a hotline to call with guardianship complaints," that stated, "Cases highlighted in the Review-Journal showed a lack of oversight by the courts that allowed people who were wards of the county to lose hundreds of thousands of dollars to their private professional guardians. In those cases, the court failed to enforce state laws, such as the requirement to file a yearly accounting of money spent on behalf of wards, and ignored the wishes of wards and their families."
Clark County Commission Chairman Steve Sisolak responded by scheduling a special hearing to discuss the guardianship problem. At that hearing held on April 21, LVMPD Lt. James Weiskopf told the Commission "And the complaints we get from the citizens is that Judge Hoskin will rubber stamp it and say Norheim made appropriate decisions, or Judge Hoskin doesn't hear the family's complaint." ...
Full Article and Source:
Jared Shafer's Clark County Family Court Lackeys Removed From All Guardianship Cases