LAS VEGAS – His name sends chills up and down the spines of hundreds of exploited senior citizens, disabled people, and their families. I’m often asked why private professional guardian, Jared E. Shafer, is still at large after his criminal activities have been exposed time and again on local and national media, and he’s been the subject of over four years of criminal investigation by the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Abuse and Neglect Detail.
The New Yorker Magazine, ABC affiliate KTNV TV Channel 13 News, and the Las Vegas Review-Journal have all done stories on Shafer’s exploits. “How the Elderly Lose Their Rights.” “Fraud and embezzlement alleged in guardianship lawsuit.” “Clark County’s private guardians may protect, or just steal and abuse,” are just some of the damning headlines about Shafer, but he remains unscathed. Why? I believe I have an answer.
In 1979, then Clark County Commission chairman, Manny Cortez, was approached by his longtime friend, Jared Shafer, who was out of work. Shafer had resigned as president of Rom-Amer Pharmaceuticals, LTD, a publically traded company that had its anti-aging product banned by the FDA, a dangerous cure all product called Gerovital H3 that was peddled to senior citizens and caused several deaths. The SEC on March 25, 1977 announced “TRADING SUSPENDED IN ROM-AMER PHARMACEUTICALS, LTD.”
Shafer and Cortez’ friendship went back a long way, all the way to the 1964 birth of Cortez’ daughter, Catherine, who was honored by having Jared Shafer named as her godfather. But years later, in his time of need, Commissioner Cortez found the perfect job for his unemployed pal based on Shafer’s quasi-experience with senior citizens. Cortez appointed Shafer as Clark County’s third Public Administrator and Public Guardian (the first two were removed for corruption.)
During his tenure as an appointed public official, Shafer drew the ire of the Los Angeles Times who accused him of alegedly ripping off his elderly or disabled “wards” of the court. However, the bad press did not affect his continuance as a trusted county employee, and I can’t confrim that Cortez was aware of any problems with Shafer’s performance. Shafer held those positions until his retirement in early 2003 when he formed his private guardian service, Professional Fudiciary Service of Nevada, Inc. (PFSN), but then the complaints really started pouring in! Exploited wards and their families filed complaints with then Clark County District Attorney, David Roger, and with then Nevada Attorney General Catherine Cortez Masto (yes, Jared Shafer’s goddaughter), but nothing happened. (Catherine Cortez Masto was elected United States Senator for Nevada in 2017.)
I can personally attest that then-AG Cortez Masto ignored several complaints against Shafer because I was one of many who filed one. In the meantime, dozens of complaints were also brought to the attention of the Abuse and Neglect detectives at the LVMPD, but as reported in the recent edition ofThe New Yorker Magazine, they were also ignored.
According to investigative journalist Rachel Aviv in the October 9, 2017 edition of The New Yorker; “Williams took records from Shafer’s and other guardians’ cases to the Las Vegas police department several times. She tried to explain, she said, that ‘this is a racketeering operation that is fee-based. There’s no brown paper bag handed off in an alley. The payoff is the right to bill the estate.’ The department repeatedly told her that it was a civil issue, and refused to take a report. In 2006, she submitted a typed statement, listing twenty-three statutes that she thought had been violated, but an officer wrote in the top right corner, ‘NOT A POLICE MATTER.’ Adam Woodrum, an estate lawyer in Las Vegas, told me that he’s worked with several wards and their families who have brought their complaints to the police. ‘They can’t even get their foot in the door,’ he said.”
Since attorney Woodrum’s comments, a hearing was held by the Clark County Commission to take complaints of guardianship fraud. At the April 21, 2015 hearing, LVMPD Lt. James Weiskopf told the County Commission how certain for-hire guardians rob the estates of wards of the court: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CFNlNNS-vGs
Lt. Weiskopf’s testimony inspired the Nevada Supreme Court in September 2015 to form the Supreme Court Guardianship Commission. At their first hearing, Commissioners inquired as to the police department’s response to guardian fraud complaints. The public rallied and told the Commission that such complaints had fallen on deaf ears. LVMPD suddenly became actively involved in guardianship fraud investigations following the Commission’s inquiry and the public’s comment. With the Commission’s encouragement, the LVMPD Abuse and Neglect Detail was energized, and have so far allegedly ignored all complaints dealing with the actions of Jared E. Shafer, and have only gone after the “low hanging fruit,” or lesser known private guardians.
Current Clark County District Attorney Steve Wolfson has several times proclaimed that his office is ready and willing to “enthusiastically” prosecute crimes perpetuated by local private guardians – including Jared Shafer – though Wolfson has not mentioned Shafer by name. However, LVMPD’s Abuse and Neglect Detail have so far failed to file any required “Requests for Prosecution” of Shafer with the DA, and continue at a snail’s pace with their purported investigation as the exploitation of elderly and disabled Clark County residents continues unabated. Meanwhile, based on protocol, federal law enforcement is held at bay while local authorities conduct their ad nauseam ‘investigation” without requesting federal intervention or assistance.
It’s as if someone is running interference for Shafer.
For the past four years the same detectives in Abuse and Neglect have discouraged similar complaintants if it involved Shafer’s name. Most recently, exploited Shafer ward Jason Hanson, described his encounter with Det. Angie Christensen of Metro’s Abuse and Neglect Detail who reportedly told Hanson, “… there was no evidence that Shafer did anything underhanded and was just doing his job like he was supposed to,” after Hanson, a 28 year old cerebral palsy victim, told her that Shafer sold a 1,200 sq. ft. ADA (Americans with Disability Act) compliant condominium that was left to him by his late father in a gated community for $47,000. The condo was appraised at $170,000.00, but Hanson told Det. Christensen he received a total of only $5,530.74 from the under-market-value sale after waiting over nine years for payment. Nonetheless, Det. Christensen reportedly balked at Hanson’s request for help.
As a point of clearification, I am not casting dispersions on the brave officers of the LVMPD. However, I believe it is important to present the information contained in this column if it will help bring justice to those who have been, or are currently, the subject of guardianship abuse.
According to Jason Hanson, Det. Christensen also accused Steve Miller and Becky Olvera Schultz (daughter of guardianship fraud victim Guadalupe Olvera) of …”not having the complete story and only using parts to help with their own crusades against Shafer.”
“The officer said Steve Miller didn’t know how to read court documents or was intentionally misreading them to twist my story around,” stated Hanson.
“She didn’t seem to think Shafer was an upstanding citizen but she seemed to think Miller and Olvera Schultz had some personal grudge against him. She said that Steve and Shafer had once been friends and they had a falling out and since then Steve has wanted to take Shafer down,” stated Hanson. (Shafer and Miller attended the same high school at the same time, but were never friends.)
Det. Christensen was also assigned to investigate the exploitation of the late Guadalupe Olvera, but allegedly disparaged Mr. Olvera’s daughter, Becky Olvera Schultz, in her discussion with Hanson.
In addition to the above mentioned cases, there are many others who have reported that Metro Abuse and Neglect have ignored their complaints against Jared Shafer.
California resident Charles Pascal told INSIDE VEGAS that on August 5, 2009 he spoke with Detective Colin Haynes of Las Vegas Metro PD to report the kidnapping of Pascal’s mother in-law, Marcy DuDeck.
Pascal continued, “I tried to tell him that Shafer had bragged to me about the kidnapping, which was carried out by Lance Dudeck (Pascal’s brother in law) against an existing Nevada court order. Det. Haynes said the following: ‘As a department, Metro doesn’t get involved in guardianship issues. They are considered to be a family matter. We (the police) will not be taking a report about your mother in-law’s situation because Ms. Patience Bristol has already informed us your mother in-law is doing fine. Mr. Shafer had our office check on her condition and she is in good health,”‘
“On August 4, 2009, two days before an August 6, Los Angeles evidentiary hearing involving our petition to remove Jared Shafer as guardian was to take place, Marcy DuDeck was kidnapped by her son, Lance DuDeck, from Sunrise Senior Assisted Living in Playa Vista, CA,” stated Pascal. “Her kidnapping was in direct violation of a May 1, 2007 NV court order stating Mrs. Dudeck would remain in California for the rest of her life. The evidentiary hearing was to deal with facts of Shafer’s negligence, which involved Shafer not paying IRS taxes for the DuDeck estate, refusal to pay HOA association fees, and removing funds from the DuDeck trust without a court order.
During the morning of August 5, 2009, after learning of the taking of Mrs. DuDeck, I (Charles Pascal) contacted Las Vegas Metro Police to file a report that a kidnapping of Marcy DuDeck, in direct violation of a Nevada court order, had taken place.
The officer I spoke with on that morning around 11 a.m. identified himself as Officer Collin Haynes. Officer Haynes was very abrupt. Officer Haynes stated it was the policy of Las Vegas Metro not to take reports concerning guardianship cases because Las Vegas Metro considered guardianships to be strictly a family matter. Officer Haynes said if I had a dispute with the guardian, Mr. Shafer, I should contact Clark County Family Court.
I tried to explain to Officer Haynes that a court order existed stating Mrs. DuDeck was to remain in California for the rest of her life had been violated by the kidnapping. I also pointed out Marcy’s kidnapping occurred as a direct attempt to block an August 6, 2009 evidentiary hearing. Haynes didn’t want to listen and wished me a good day.
At approximately 2 PM on August 5, 2009, I visited the West Los Angeles Metro Police to try to get them to investigate the kidnapping of Marcy DuDeck. I spoke with Officer Charles Phillips. Officer Phillips listened to everything I had to say. Officer Phillips asked me to wait outside. I waited for about 45 minutes. Officer Phillips returned and told me he had spoken with officer Haynes, who informed him Mrs. DuDeck was in good health and the Las Vegas Metro Police considered the matter to be closed.
On August 6, 2009, California Judge Riva Goetz said no evidentiary hearing could take place because Mrs. DuDeck wasn’t available. The objective was achieved. On August 11, 2009, Mr. Shafer called me and bragged that he ordered Lance DuDeck to take Mrs. DuDeck because he considered the California courts to be a bunch of crap, in his words.
The key inconsistency I remember is the fact the police refused to take a report from me, but they completed a welfare check on Mrs. DuDeck. Someone was covering their butts. Marcy died six months later and her weight had dropped from 134 pounds in Los Angeles to 122 pounds at the time of her death,” states Pascal.
Pascal then stated, “I received the same reaction from Officer Charles Phillips from West Los Angeles PD who told me he had called Las Vegas Metro and spoke with Officer Haynes.
Next I went to the Nevada Attorney General Cortez Masto. I never talked with her. Someone in her office whose last name I remember as Brown told me that the Nevada Attorney General wouldn’t take my report. In fact this Ms. Brown said Mr. Shafer was highly regarded in the state.
In 2011, I went to the Nevada state legislature. My contact person who never wanted his name mentioned was Brooks Holcomb. He served one term as Assemblymen. Becky (Olvera Schultz) had many conversations with him. Brooks claimed Shafer took $100,000.00 from his mother’s estate while acting as the Administrator.
At the May 2011 meeting, I spoke with the State Senator representing Henderson, Nevada at the time and Attorney Sally Ramm. Both ladies told me nothing could be done about Shafer and (Clark County Guardianship Hearing Master) Norheim because they were deep in the system.
Finally I went to the FBI in Los Angeles, who refused to take a report.
California Attorney General Brown, who is now our governor, would not take a report either.
What Rachael Aviv of The New Yorker missed is many families went to the authorities who wouldn’t take a report. All cases resulted in the statutes of limitation running out. So as a result, the issue dies not because the guardians were in the right, but because the authorities played deaf and dumb and stalled the case to death,” concluded Pascal.
Becky Olvera Schultz, whose WW2 veteran father was a victim of Shafer’s guardianship, wrote this to INSIDE VEGAS:
“The New Yorker missed a huge point of the problem; they reported it from the wrong angle. Guardian corruption is also about massive fraud and waste committed against the tax payers. Seniors who could have taken care of themselves see their wealth being stripped away through guardian fraud and corruption which forces them on the public dole, causing these seniors end up on Medicaid and Medical.
I believe certain people have been high jacking proper coverage of this issue. Certain key officials in NV have brought this problem into the public focus; Attorney General Laxalt, Governor Sandoval and Senator Becky Harris, but the New Yorker did not mention them.
I believe some people in Clark County, NV, have been obstructing the prosecution of the key perpetrators who have exploited hundreds of the elderly like my father and the system. These people, including former AG of NV, Catherine Cortez Masto (currently US Senator Masto), have blocked the prosecution of professional guardian Jared Shafer and his attorneys, while going after the much smaller fish like Patience Bristol and April Parks. Mr. Shafer has been exploiting seniors and the system since 1979 when he was a public guardian, but not much damaging info on him was mentioned in the New Yorker article, especially anything about his no contest plea for selling securities without a license in a Utah Federal Court. Him paying 20 grand to settle was enough to prevent him from operating as a fiduciary/guardian, but that type of financial wrong doing didn’t seem to bother any authorities.
I personally believe our case was deliberately stripped down in the article. Aviv had informed me and others that the article was to focus on the architect of the guardianship system, Mr. Shafer, and my father’s case, but instead it focused on others who did not even own a home to lose and lost a fraction of what many others and my father lost. Nearly half a million was bled from my father’s estate during the guardianship proceedings, mainly legal fees going to attorneys for Mr. Shafer. I eventually had to save my father by getting him out of the state, the first to do so. See https://www.reviewjournal.com/local/local-las-vegas/escape-was-only-option-for-an-old-soldier-trapped-in-guardian-system/
In court my father protested needing a guardian and was mocked while the judge blew off his pleas, https://youtu.be/ZixHgeOzko4; the treatment of veterans is especially horrific in this system. Absolutely no respect has been given for those that risked their lives to protect all of our rights. My family has been dealing with this problem for 8 years.
Between 10/16/13 and 10/22/13, I sent 13 emails to Metro’s Colin Haynes, many with attached documents. I received no call back and no response via email, only “read receipts” verifying he received the emails. I had called Metro previously on 10/16/13 and spoke with Haynes on the phone. He told me to send him information and documents and he gave me his email address. I never heard from him again. Earlier this year I filed a complaint against him for not responding and not sending my information to the Abuse and Neglect unit over 3 years ago; no one got back to me about the complaint either. Later, Sgt. Krumme and Det. Christensen kept harping on how the statute of limitations might have run out, but I told them I originally spoke with Haynes and sent him the same documents 3 years ago that I sent to them so it wasn’t my fault no one acted upon the problem within the time line. It is my belief that the reasons for the statute of limitations running out in most guardianship cases is because of LVMPD refusal to act upon the information they were sent, until it was conveniently too late.
(Officer Haynes called me in November 2013 to inquire about documents I have that could be useful to his case. Therefore, I can attest to Ms. Olvera Schultz’ timeline.)
Between 5/4/15 and 5/6/15, I sent 13 emails to the AG’s investigator Jaclyn O’Malley’s supervisor, Tony Kotlarz. Then I sent 8 more emails to Jaclyn O’Malley (some copied to Kotlarz) between 5/8/13 and 5/13/15. After a few conversations with them, I never heard back from either one of them. Some time ago, Kotlarz retired and O’Malley set-up office within Metro to work with their detectives.
Between 2015 and 2017, I’ve spoken with the following Metro officers: Detective Brian Santa Rosa, Detective Phil DePalma, Detective Angie Christensen, Sargent Jerome Milton and Sargent Troyce Krumme.
Det. Christensen has been allegedly investigating my father’s case for nearly 2 years. In early August 2017, I received a call from Dr. Einhorn. He was the first qualified professional in CA to interview my father and determined him to be competent. Einhorn wanted to tell me that Det. Christensen had called him and said she might be getting a subpoena for my father’s records. But I’ve never heard back from Einhorn or Metro so I don’t think anything happened. On Aug. 16, 2017, I sent Christensen an email asking her how she even knew about Einhorn because I did not give her his name. I copied the email to Sgt. Krumme and neither one of them responded to me. Christensen had previously told me she would not take ‘copies’ of any of the doctor’s competency reports. I asked, why not? She said ‘Because copies can be altered’, as if she thought I was going to alter the docs. The issue is Einhorn would have only given her copies too, not the originals.
During all my conservations with Krumme and Christensen, they gave me the impression that they were interviewing all the exploiters and believing the stories they were being told. Apparently Shafer or one of his cronies told them I had no relationship with my parents, which was totally untrue. This really upset me that these officers gave me the impression they were taking the bad guys seriously! These two also spoke about Jason Hanson as if he was mentally deficient, which I found very offensive.
Since October of 2016 I have received a few emails from Krumme and Christensen. The last email I got from Krumme was 7/26/17. He copied it to Christensen and Roger Price, who must be a superior of his. The theme of the email was that they did not want me to discuss Jason’s case with them. Apparently LVMPD Abuse and Neclect Detail wasn’t interested in anyone with information that could help Jason.”
In June 2017, Jason Hanson asked me (Steve Miller) to be present during his interview with LVMPD Sgt. Jerome Milton and Officer Cynthia Sauchak of the Abuse and Neglect Detail. During the hour long interview, Hanson poured out his heart about how his entire inheritance was stolen from him, giving concise details and often mentioning Jared Shafer as the primary exploiter. At the conclusion of the interview, Officer Sauchak told Jason and I that she “…did not believe any laws had been broken.” This shocking statement inspired me to tell The New Yorker: “Only federal intervention is going to give us peace of mind.
These are not isolated events. They are just the tip of the iceberg.
Since the publication of the national magazine article, I am happy to say that I have been contacted by a Federal Investigator. Meanwhile, Hanson’s exploitation lawsuit is quickly making its way through the Nevada State court system
To read this article on Steve Miller’s website, American Mafia, please click here.