Ayudando Guardians Inc. opened its doors with two nurses and a medical records expert in 2004. It was formed, according to its website, “due to the enormous need for guardians and conservators in the State of New Mexico.”
The nonprofit Albuquerque-based guardian and conservator firm – now accused along with its principal owners of looting millions of dollars from client accounts – grew over the years.
And, the company increasingly became a family affair.
“Based on the widespread indications of criminal activity, centered around Ayudando’s core bank accounts and affecting all categories of its clients, it appears Ayudando is permeated by criminal activity,” said one IRS agent…
Two of the three family members serve on Ayudando’s board of directors, drawing salaries of at least $56,000 a year, a 2015 IRS tax form shows. Each of the three relatives racked up tens of thousands of dollars in credit card charges from 2013 to March 2017, one affidavit states.
The purchases “do not appear to be related to Ayudando clients,” said one affidavit stated. “The credit charges appear to be personal expenses such as cruises, hotels, casinos, automobiles, furniture and other personal expenses.”
The affidavits identify the three relatives as: Harris’ husband, William Harris, Craig Young and Cody Harris. They have not been charged.
Susan Harris and Moore were arrested after a 28-count federal criminal indictment was unsealed July 19. The company was also indicted.
Several Ayudando employees who became confidential witnesses in the case told investigators that Ayudando appeared to be putting “more and more family members” on the payroll and “the business owners and their families appear to be living lavish lifestyles with expensive vehicles and expensive vacations,” one affidavit states.
The organization was tightly run by the family insiders. Affidavits allege that some non-family employees had their access to client accounts cut off – meaning they lost their ability to monitor transactions and balances.