A former court-ordered financial guardian in Las Vegas has been arrested and charged in an exploitation scheme involving more than $550,000 allegedly stolen from 150 people.
April Parks, owner of the business called A Private Professional Guardian, LLC, was charged along with her office manager, Mark Simmons, her husband, Gary Neil Taylor, and her attorney, Noel Palmer Simpson. A grand jury handed down 270 charges, the Nevada Attorney General’s office, Clark County District Attorney and Las Vegas Metropolitan Police announced in a statement.
The exploitation often involved billing schemes such as overcharging for house check-ins and court appearances, according to the indictment. Investigators said the company engaged in the fraud between December 2011 and July 2016.
The private practice was not affiliated with the Clark County court system.
The charges included 117 counts of perjury, 73 counts of offering false instrument for filing or record, 42 counts of theft, 37 counts of exploitation, and one count of racketeering. Parks received the most felony charges: 212.
Clark County District Attorney Steve Wolfson expressed his dismay: “Guardians are appointed to protect and serve their wards, who are some of the most vulnerable members of our community.”
Eighth Judicial District judge Jennifer Togliatti issued a “no bail” arrest warrant for Parks and Simmons.
Julian Gregory, Simmons’ defense attorney, did not respond to calls for comment.
Parks bolted from the state -- but police said they caught her Wednesday in East Goshen Township, Pa., and charged her with being a fugitive from justice.
Her bail was set at $500,000. Parks was remanded to Chester County Prison pending extradition to Clark County, Nevada.
The indictment was the culmination of a two-year investigation and came after the Nevada Supreme Court created a 25-member commission to study guardianship abuse in 2015.
Elaine Renoire, President of the National Association to stop Guardianship Abuse, told Fox News, “this case has given victims across the country hope.”