Archive for the ‘Nevada’ Category

‘Grave Robbery Under Color of Law’

November 19, 2013

Talk about the pot calling the kettle black, private guardian Jared E. Shafer’s attractive protégé’ Patience Bristol is sitting in a cell at the Clark County Detention Center awaiting trial while her mentor may be breathing a sigh of relief allegedly knowing his cooperation with authorities may exonerate him from being prosecuted for many of the same crimes Bristol is accused of committing against the elderly or vulnerable.

On pages of the following confidential 32 page fax obtained by INSIDE VEGAS, Shafer informs another of his protégés, Clark County Public Guardian Kathleen A. Buchanan, that “Guardian” Patience Bristol has not provided receipts, explanations, or backup to validate transactions Bristol made on behalf of ward Jean Dutton whose fortune Bristol and Shafer were responsible for overseeing.  In his incriminating fax Shafer includes eighteen checks Bristol wrote on Shafer’s Professional Fiduciary Services of Nevada, Inc.(PFSN) checking account that he pretends to know nothing about:

Bristol cashed eighteen bogus checks drawn in the name of ward Jean Dutton from Shafer’s PFSN, Inc. checking account between September 4 and December 28, 2012 totaling $12,850.00. If Shafer truly knew nothing about these transactions, he is also in need of a guardian! As Dutton’s co-fiduciary, Shafer is as responsible as Bristol for protecting a ward’s assets.  Patience Bristol is in custody charged with twenty felony counts of bilking the elderly and vulnerable. Her Preliminary Hearing is scheduled for November 25. Jared Shafer has not (yet) been charged with a crime.

Leann Goorjian lived to be only 51. She was the daughter of Wanda Lamb Peccole and William “Bill” Peccole. Leann’s mother was the sister of former Nevada State Senator Floyd lamb, Clark County Commissioner Darwin Lamb (portrayed in the movie Casino),  and legendary former Clark County Sheriff Ralph Lamb. Leann married Greg Goorgian and together had two sons, Gavin and Camden, now in their late twenties and working for the family business Pecolle Nevada Corporation.    

Three years before Leann died on February 24, 2008 leaving a multi-million dollar fortune, she was placed into the guardianship of Jared E. Shafer. That was in 2005 when she was deemed a “vulnerable person.” Since her death, Shafer has not been required to relinquish guardianship over her estate, and continues to this date draining it of hundreds of thousands of dollars each year.

Full Article and Source:
Grave Robbery Under Color of Law

See Also:
NASGA:  Lupe Olvera, Nevada/California Victim

NASGA:  Marcey Dudeck, Nevada/California Victim

Nevada Guardian Patience Bristol Arraigned on Robbery Charges

Magistrate upholds federal indictment against suspended judge

November 15, 2013

A federal magistrate Friday recommended upholding an indictment accusing Family Court Judge Steven Jones of participating in a decade-long investment fraud scheme.

Attorneys Robert Draskovich and Gary Modafferi had argued in court papers that the 20-count federal indictment should be dismissed against Jones because it violated the five-year statute of limitations.

They contended the actions alleged in the indictment were vague and old, making it difficult for the judge to defend himself. Key witnesses in the FBI investigation, including the judge’s father, have died over the years and no longer are available to be questioned, the lawyers argued.

But U.S. Magistrate Judge George Foley Jr. concluded that the charges laying out the protracted scheme in the indictment did not violate the statute of limitations.

“The indictment on its face, sufficiently alleges that (Jones) participated in conspiracies to commit wire fraud and launder money, and that overt acts in furtherance of those conspiracies were committed within five years of the filing of the indictment,” Foley wrote.

Draskovich said Foley did not prohibit the defense from raising the statute of limitations issues later in the case.

“I can understand at this point in time he’d be reluctant to grant the motion, but nonetheless his order allows us to refile the motion in the future,” Draskovich said.

Jones, 54, first elected to Family Court in 1992, was suspended from the bench after his November 2012 indictment. He has continued to receive his $200,000 annual salary.

The longtime judge was charged with using the power of his office to carry out a $3 million investment fraud scheme, which authorities alleged began in 2002. He pleaded not guilty and was released on his own recognizance.

Jones, his former brother-in-law, Thomas A. Cecrle Jr., and four others face criminal charges, including conspiracy to commit mail fraud and wire fraud, securities fraud and money laundering. They are to stand trial March 3.

Jones also faces state judicial misconduct charges. He is accused of violating the state’s Judicial Code of Conduct by mishandling a romantic relationship in 2011 with a prosecutor who appeared before him.

The Nevada Commission on Judicial Discipline has scheduled a Dec. 2 hearing on the allegations in Las Vegas.

Full Article and Source:
Magistrate upholds federal indictment against suspended judge

Victim in guardianship theft struggles to rebound

October 15, 2013

When Kristina Berger’s mom died of leukemia in the fall of 2008, her already fragile world crumbled.

But the nightmare had only begun for Berger, one of four people who police say were victimized by Patience Bristol, a court-appointed, private guardian accused of stealing nearly $200,000 worth of money and jewelry from her wards.

Las Vegas police arrested Bristol, 38, on Oct. 7. She faces 15 charges in the case, according to police reports.

Berger, 50, suffers from bipolar disorder, also known as manic-depressive illness, a brain disorder that causes severe shifts in mood. From 2001 until fall 2008, she was under the guardianship of her mother, Margaret Maul.

“I was just in total grief and meltdown,” Berger said of her state following her mother’s death.

She lost control of her life. She struggled with diabetes after her weight shot up to nearly 300 pounds.
After her mother died, Family Court appointed a private guardian for Berger to oversee her financial and personal affairs. The court appointed Bristol, who at the time was employed by Professional Fiduciary Services of Nevada.

“After a year in their care, I was absolutely petrified,” Berger said Thursday.

Bristol tried to convince her that her father, who lives in Seattle, didn’t care about her, and that her sister was trying to steal from her, Berger said.

According to police, Bristol stole at least $47,000 worth of jewelry from Berger’s estate and sold much of it at pawn shops.

Bristol faces three counts of obtaining money under false pretenses and four counts of exploitation of a vulnerable person. She also was charged with eight counts of burglary in connection to the selling of stolen goods, according to police reports.

Full Article and Source:
Victim in guardianship theft struggles to rebound

Nevada Guardian Patience Bristol Arraigned on Robbery Charges

October 15, 2013

Sources report Patience Bristol has been arraigned in Las Vegas on charges of stealing over $200,000 of cash and jewelry, as well as other possessions, from her wards. Patience Bristol was brought in as a social worker in 2003 by Jared Shafer, at his company Professional Fiduciary Services of Nevada until last January,when he fired Bristol. Bristol also worked with Keep You Company, an agency which dispatched caregivers, where Shafer was on the board of directors. A witness close to Bristol reports she was taught to rip off the elderly by former public guardian Jared Shafer. Shafer was Clark County Public Guardian for 23 years prior to going into private practice ten years ago. Patience is the only member of the company to be charged, currently, and she is charged with 20 counts so far, although there appears to be a bigger story behind this.

Since 2005 many reports have been made from outraged family members who claim that Patience Bristol and Jared Shafer allegedly ripped off, what is now totaling, millions of dollars from their elderly family members.  At first victim’s families turn to the local authorities only to hear that the police can not do anything for them, as it is a civil matter. Many then have tried to take civil action over the matters but have not returned any results.  Others who have suffered losses at the hands of Bristol and Shafer state that they did not complain against the two due to threats made against them by Shafer and Bristol.

Bristol reportedly been making their way into the homes of many elderly individuals and convincing them that they need a guardian to keep them company. Many have also invited them to be guardians to family members. Whether invited into the home or provoked in, one thing is clear: when Shafer and Bristol enters the individual’s homes they are left with nothing.

In total 66 reports have been made on against Patience Bristol and 84 reports have been made so far against Jared Shafer. The company which started in Las Vegas have now have complaints from families of elderly citizens in Nevada, Oregon, Arizona, California, and Washington.

One man made a report on claiming that the uncle was assigned by family court to Bristol upon falling ill.  He claims that Bristol isolated his uncle from outside visitors, changed his will to show that she and her son were beneficiaries, and stole many of his possessions, including his car.  It is also claimed that she engaged in questionable sexual acts with a sixteen year who was the daughter of the man that made the report.

But these crimes are not the only that Bristol has allegedly been involved in. A source also claims that she has administered illegal drugs to the elderly, taken over their trust funds, and used their money to fight their families in court if their loved ones take action. Some of the same claims have been made on Jared Shafer.

Full Article and Source:
Nevada Guardian Patience Bristol Arraigned on Robbery Charges

Court-Appointed Guardian Arrested for Stealing

October 15, 2013

8 News NOW

LAS VEGAS — A Las Vegas woman was arrested on 15 counts for taking money from the people she was supposed to be helping in her role as a private guardian.

According to Metro Police, Patience Bristol took thousands of dollars from the accounts of elderly and vulnerable people that a family court judge had appointed her guardian of, and used the money to pay for personal expenses.

In the arrest report, Bristol admitted to officers that she took cash out of the accounts, she set up for her wards, to pay for her mortgage, utility and credit card bills and food for her family, because she had a gambling problem.

She also admitted to police that she gave money to her boyfriend, who is unemployed.

The charges include exploitation of elderly because two of the people she is accused of taking money from were more than 60 years old. In that case, police say she took more $100,000 from that victim.

She is also charged with burglary. According to police, Bristol went to Professional Fiduciary Services of Nevada, a guardianship business where the valuables belonging to two wards were stored, took some jewelry and pawned it. Police say she pawned more than 67 items at nine different pawn stores around southern Nevada.

Her preliminary hearing is set for Oct. 23 at 8 a.m.

Full Article and Source:
Court-Appointed Guardian Arrested for Stealing

Family Court judge to face disciplinary hearing in December

September 20, 2013

The Nevada Commission on Judicial Discipline has set a Dec. 2 public hearing in Las Vegas into allegations Family Court Judge Steven Jones mishandled a romantic relationship with a prosecutor who appeared before him.

The hearing had been scheduled for July 29, but Jones and his lawyers mounted an 11th-hour campaign at the Nevada Supreme Court and District Court to block it.

Both courts denied the judge’s bid, but the hearing had to be put off amid the legal wrangling.
Jones contended the judicial commission failed to follow its own rules when investigating him and violated his due process rights.

Commission lawyers maintained the judge’s rights were protected and his last-minute effort to derail the disciplinary proceedings was a ploy to avoid sanctions.

According to a 12-count complaint filed by commission lawyers in December, former Deputy District Attorney Lisa Willardson “actively litigated cases” in the judge’s courtroom while she maintained a relationship with him in 2011. Jones didn’t disqualify himself from her cases.

The Nevada State Bar, which regulates lawyers, declined to discipline Willardson, who was fired from the district attorney’s office after the relationship was revealed.

The professional organization sent her a “letter of caution” that suggested her conduct “undermined” public trust in the justice system.

Jones has denied the misconduct allegations, first brought to light in a 2011 Las Vegas Review-Journal story.

The judicial commission suspended Jones in November after a federal grand jury charged him with participating in a $3 million investment fraud scheme.

Jones, who is to stand trial in the criminal case March 3, has continued to receive his $200,000 annual salary.

Full Article and Source:
Family Court judge to face disciplinary hearing in December

See Also:
Judge Jones tries to stop discipline hearing over alleged mishandled relationship

Against All Odds – Congratulations Guadalupe Olvera!

September 8, 2013

On August 21, 2013, California Superior Court Judge Paul M. Marigonda restored the rights of 94-yr-old WW2 hero Guadalupe Olvera after a court appointed Nevada guardian bled $300,000.00 from Olvera’s family trust, deprived him of his civil rights, and held him captive in his Henderson, Nevada home from the beginning of November 2009 until the end of September 2010 when Olvera defied Nevada for-hire guardian Jared Shafer’s orders and moved back to California to spend his final days with his family.

Shafer then spent Olvera’s funds paying attorneys in Nevada and California in an expensive but failed effort to force Olvera to return to Nevada, while holding his estate captive until August 21, 2013 when Judge Marigonda finally restored Olvera’s civil rights.  Confirming that Guadalupe Olvera was and is competent to handle his own personal and financial affairs, Judge Marigonda overruled the orders of Shafer crony, Clark County Family Court “Guardianship Commissioner” Jon Norheim, and released Olvera from a forced California guardianship required by Shafer as a condition for the Nevada termination of Shafer’s four-year-long control of Olvera’s person and fortune.

Asked how he feels after regaining his civil rights, Guadalupe Olvera stated: ‘I’m glad I’m free from what he did to me. I’m free now and I don’t ever want to hear his name again. I hope he goes to jail.’

Jared Shafer

Full Article and Source:
Daughter of WW2 Vet Succeeds in Terminating Jared E. Shafer’s Nevada guardianship and a California Conservatorship Dictated by Shafer

See Also:
NASGA:  Lupe Olvera
Marcy Dudek

Discipline Hearing Against Judge to Proceed

August 22, 2013

LAS VEGAS — District Judge Kathleen Delaney denied Tuesday an effort by Judge Steven Jones to stop a disciplinary hearing against him, the I-Team has learned.

Jones was attempting to prevent a hearing by the Nevada Commission on Judicial Discipline regarding an alleged conflict of interest. Jones heard cases involving a prosecutor with whom he was maintaining a relationship in 2011. Jones denies allegations of misconduct.

Full Article and Source:
Discipline Hearing Against Judge to Proceed

Unclean Hands: Suing for Defamation

August 15, 2013

Rebecca Schultz must have really touched a nerve when she removed her wealthy father from Jared E. Shafer’s “guardianship” back in September 2010.

In circumstances when an older wealthy married couple decide to retire to another state far away from their family, and then a spouse dies, a horrifying chain of events can occur.

In the case of Guadalupe Olvera, soon after re-locating to Sun City in Henderson, Nevada from their home in California, Carmela Olvera suddenly died. Based on Mr. Olvera’s multiple physical disabilities and his desire to stay in Nevada until his paid-for half million dollar home could be sold and his other financial affairs settled, Nevada law required that he be evaluated to make sure he was mentally and physically capable of handling his own affairs. In the absence of a relative living in Nevada, the clerk for Clark County Family Court Judge Jon Norheim recommended private guardian Jared E. Shafer be hired as temporary guardian over Olvera’s person and finances. The guardianship was supposed to be temporary and last only until Olvera’s financial arrangements were in order, but in opposition to Olvera’s wishes and the court pleadings of his only child Rebecca Schultz, the “guardianship” dragged on and on for over two years while Shafer bled Olvera’s trust and bank account of over $300,000.

After careful research, I discovered that the granting of Guadalupe Olvera’s wish to forcefully terminate Shafer’s “guardianship” and move back with his family was the first time one of Shafer’s “wards” has ever defied his unlimited power over their person and estate and escaped from his custody. In all other cases I investigated, Shafer defeated all attempts by family members to terminate him by convincing Clark County Family Court judges like Norheim that the relative was either a financial “exploiter,” or “unfit” to be their loved one’s legal guardian.

But Jared Shafer was not finished with the Olvera family. Three years after Guadalupe moved back home, Shafer filed a libel law suit against Rebecca claiming she authored anonymous Internet reports that damaged his and his cronies’ reputations. He did so without any proof Schultz authored the reports. Many believe Shafer’s libel suit was meant to send a message to the families of his other “wards” to not challenge his authority.

I view his baseless lawsuit against Schultz as a perfect example of a SLAPP suit (strategic lawsuit against public participation) meant to silence future exposés of his highly questionable business practices.

Full Article and Source:
Unclean Hands:  Suing for Defamation

See Also:
NASGA:  Great Escapes: Jared E. Shafer Loses Guardianship, Looted Senior Citizen Returns to Claim Home and Possessions After Winning Termination in a Bitter Sweet Victory

Judge Jones tries to stop discipline hearing over alleged mishandled relationship

August 2, 2013

Longtime Family Court Judge Steven Jones,
third from left, declines to talk to the
 news media outside the
 Lloyd George Federal Courthouse
 in Las Vegas after pleading not guilty
 to a slew of felony charges in this Nov. 1, 2012,
file photo.

Embattled Family Court Judge Steven Jones is mounting an 11th-hour campaign to put off a hearing next week before the Nevada Commission on Judicial Discipline on allegations he mishandled a romantic relationship with a prosecutor who appeared before him.

The judge’s lawyer, Jim Jimmerson, has filed papers asking the Nevada Supreme Court to halt the proceeding, which is set to begin Monday.

Jimmerson also has filed suit against the judicial commission in District Court and is seeking a temporary restraining order to stop the panel from disciplining Jones. A hearing on the restraining order was set for 11 a.m. today before District Judge Michael Villani.

In a mass of court papers, Jimmerson contends the seven-member commission has blatantly violated Jones’ constitutional due process rights.

“Not only is the petitioner (Jones) worried about his own fate before a commission that, left unchecked, has so quickly and repeatedly abandoned the principles of due process, but he also is very fearful that without meaningful intervention from the court, no judge in the state of Nevada can be secure from the wrongful actions of the commission,” Jimmerson told the Supreme Court.

The commission has a “storied history” of violating the rights of judges it has investigated, Jimmerson added in his District Court papers.

In Jones’ case, Jimmerson said, the commission has “sullied itself” and “brought shame on the very institution the public relies upon to protect them from dangerous judges.”

Lawyers for the commission responded that the judge’s due process rights have been protected during the commission’s investigation and that his last-minute bid to derail the disciplinary proceeding is a ploy to avoid possible sanctions for his alleged misconduct.

Special Counsel Kathleen Paustian said a District Court order at this time blocking the hearing would “usurp the role of the commission” and “irreparably” damage public policy.

“The judge fails to address the fact there is also at stake the reputation of the judiciary and the public confidence in the judiciary as an institution,” Paustian wrote.

Jones, 54, who also is under federal indictment, is accused of violating Nevada’s Judicial Code of Conduct and faces possible sanctions ranging from a private reprimand to removal from office. He has been the subject of a more extensive commission investigation into other allegations of misconduct dating to 2006, but has not been charged.

The commission suspended the longtime judge in November after the federal indictment charged him with participating in a $3 million investment fraud scheme. Jones, who is to stand trial in the criminal case on March 3, has continued to receive his $200,000 annual salary.

The judicial discipline hearing, which could last most of next week, is being held at the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority on Paradise Road.

Jones, first elected to Family Court in 1992, has denied the latest allegations of wrongdoing, which were brought to light in a 2011 Las Vegas Review-Journal story.

According to a complaint filed by commission lawyers in December, former Deputy District Attorney Lisa Willardson “actively litigated cases” in the judge’s courtroom while she maintained a relationship with him in 2011. Jones failed to disqualify himself from those cases.

The State Bar of Nevada, which regulates lawyers, declined to formally discipline Willardson over the relationship.

The bar, however, sent Willardson a “letter of caution” that will remain in her professional file for three years.

“While the panel found no clear and convincing evidence that your developing romantic relationship with Judge Jones changed the result of any case, and found it hard to clearly define when your relationship with Judge Jones began,” the letter stated, “the public was left to speculate on what effect the relationship might have had in any matter, and public trust in the justice system was undermined.”

The letter of caution, made public this week by the Judicial Discipline Commission in its court papers, reminded Willardson that she did appear before Jones in an uncontested matter several days after she acknowledged in emails that she was dating him.

“We hope that the foregoing serves as a reminder of your ethical obligations and that no similar problems will arise in the future,” the letter concluded.

Willardson last month filed a federal lawsuit against the district attorney’s office seeking to clear her name and denying she and Jones saw each other socially while she appeared before him.

Former District Attorney David Roger asked the commission to investigate the relationship between Jones and Willardson, a deputy in the child welfare unit.

Roger, who has been subpoenaed to testify before the commission next week, removed Willardson from child abuse and neglect cases before Jones after the relationship became public in October 2011. Later, he fired Willardson.

Full Article and Source:
Judge Jones tries to stop discipline hearing over alleged mishandled relationship