March 31, 2016
Las Vegas, NV – Today, Nevada Attorney General Adam Paul Laxalt, Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Sheriff Joseph Lombardo and Clark County District Attorney Steve Wolfson announced an ongoing joint investigative and prosecution team to help combat guardianship and elder exploitation in Nevada. Assembled last summer, the team coordinates local and state efforts to investigate alleged instances of financial exploitation by court-appointed guardians.
“I am proud to partner with local law enforcement in a collaborative manner to address the growing problem of guardianship exploitation and financial fraud,” said Attorney General Adam Laxalt. “I applaud the good work of Justice Hardesty and his Guardianship Commission, and my Office looks forward to continued insight from this group over the coming months.”
“It is a sad day when some of our most vulnerable citizens are denied basic human rights by the very people appointed to protect them,” said Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Sheriff Joseph Lombardo. “When these crimes come to our attention, we are diligent in investigating them. Many of these cases involve elderly people who die confused, alone, in pain and penniless. No one should go through that.”
“Investigating and prosecuting these types of cases is a priority to us all,” said Clark County District Attorney Steve Wolfson. “Our ongoing involvement in this joint effort further emphasizes that abuse of power by those appointed to protect our vulnerable citizens will not be tolerated in our community.”
Cases investigated in Clark County will be sent to the Clark County District Attorney’s Office to make charging decisions. Should they proceed with charges, cases will be jointly prosecuted by the Clark County District Attorney’s Office and the Office of the Nevada Attorney General.
The Office of the Nevada Attorney General is also partnering with other law enforcement agencies throughout the state to investigate and prosecute allegations of elder exploitation in their respective jurisdictions. Several cases are currently under active investigation in counties outside of Clark, and are likely to result in criminal prosecutions.
The Office of the Nevada Attorney General continues to explore other means of supporting statewide efforts to combat the financial exploitation of Nevada’s elderly and vulnerable citizens. Clark County residents who suspect abuse or exploitation by a guardian should contact the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department at 702-828-3364. Complainants in other jurisdictions should contact their local law enforcement agencies.