A woman accused of victimizing elderly and dependent adults has been arrested it follows a grand jury indictment, identifying 130 victims.
District Attorney Steve Wolfson essentially called this a horrifying case. The alleged ringleader, April Parks, was a private, court-appointed guardian, someone who takes care of people who can’t take care of themselves.
She, along with another of the four suspects in this case, were arrested Wednesday afternoon.
The 123-page indictment includes a total of 270 counts and seven different felony charges against the four individuals. It’s alleged they exploited approximately 130 victims out of hundreds of thousands of dollars.
April Parks, the owner of A Private Professional Guardian, LLC, her office manager, Mark Simmons, her husband, Gary Neal Taylor and her attorney, Noel Palmer Simpson are accused of racketeering, exploitation of an older or vulnerable person, theft, offering false instrument for filing or record and perjury.
“These suspects used a position of trust and authority to prey on disabled and elderly people and systemically bilk them out of their life savings,” said Clark County Sheriff Joe Lombardo.
The indictment lays out a scheme where Parks became a court-appointed guardian of these victims and then took their money, real estate and other property.
The total losses are calculated to be more than half-a-million dollars.
Investigators say the fraud dates back more than five years.
One woman says her parents were victimized and moved into an assisted care facility without notifying any family members.
“I was mortified, there’s nothing like not knowing for four days where my parents were because she didn’t put a sign up until four days after, after she got temporary guardianship, she then put a sign up,” said Julie Belshe.
It took nearly two years for Julie Belshe to essentially regain guardianship of her parents and get them out of the care facility.
Many of the other people who were victimized have since died.
Attorney General Adam Laxalt says a new 10-person investigative team within his office helped build the case against Parks and the three other people.
District Attorney Steve Wolfson says there are several other investigations currently underway, but wouldn’t give more details.
The investigation was a cooperative effort between the Clark County District Attorney’s Office, the Nevada Attorney General’s Office and The Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department.