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Steve Miller is a former Las Vegas City Councilman. In 1991, the readers of the Las Vegas Review Journal voted him the "Most Effective Public Official" in Southern Nevada. Visit his website at:

Private "Guardian" Jared E. Shafer's Racket
Exposed By Nevada's Largest Newspaper

                                              Screen shot from KTNV TV News (Click on image to view video)

INSIDE VEGAS by Steve Miller
April 13, 2015

LAS VEGAS - For more than a year, Las Vegas Review-Journal investigative reporter Colton Lochhead has been quietly preparing a feature story on the activities of local for-hire guardian Jared E. Shafer, and the men and women who enable him and others in his racket to bilk the fortunes of helpless senior citizens and disabled people living in Southern Nevada.

In three front page stories published in the Sunday, April 12, 2015 RJ, Nevada's largest newspaper, Lochhead describes Shafer's rise from snake oil salesman to one of Sin City's leading political players, all at the expense of hapless well-to-do Las Vegas and Henderson retirees and others who had the misfortune of being "discovered" to be in need of special "help" by one of Shafer's Clark County Family Court judges.

In his stories, Colton weaves between Shafer's involvement in a Ponzi Scheme wherein he used money taken from his court appointed "wards" to enrichen himself and his CPAs Bruce Gamett and Shawn King, to a strange political billboard company owned by an LLC run by Shafer's attorneys Patricia Trent and Elyse Tyrell, and managed by Shafer's assistant Amy Deittrick from his Pecos Road guardian office. A sign company that coincidentally donates or rents billboards to local judges and politicians who could - in a pinch - help Shafer maintain his power over the elderly without local or state court or government intervention.

Since 2013 when INSIDE VEGAS first attempted to schedule an interview with the shadowy guardian, he has refused to answer numerous telephone calls, emails, or faxed requests, and has held true to his lack of transparency by also refusing to talk to reporters from KTNV TV ABC News or the RJ to tell his side of this sordid story of elder exploitation - a story that if widely known could put a damper on one of Southern Nevada's most lucrative industries, retirement.

During a recent telephone interview with a national news producer, I was again asked to spill the beans on Jared Shafer, Family Court Judges Charles Hoskin and Art Ritchie, along with their appointed "Guardianship Commissioner" and former mob lawyer, Jon Norheim. I began my statement by saying that the stories I write on these people and their helpless victims make me physically ill, especially knowing that Norheim was originally appointed by then-Family Court Judge Steven Jones (mug shot on left) who currently is serving 26 months in prison for exploiting elderly people.

Thank God this story now has wings! People need to know the quality of our local family court judiciary before they decide to retire here and put their children's inheritance at risk.

Here are links to Colton Lochhead's comprehensive exposé of Las Vegas' darkest secret:

April 12, 2015 


Clark County’s private guardians may protect — or just steal and abuse (Video included)

Much of the criticism is aimed at the county’s most prominent private guardian, Jared E. Shafer, 72, who reigned as the county public administrator for 24 years before starting his private practice in 2003.

Shafer, who did not respond to repeated requests for comment, is considered an insider in the Las Vegas legal community, where his contacts with judges, politicians and prominent business leaders go back decades. Despite repeated accusations of financial irregularities, ethical lapses and at least one FBI investigation, he has never been accused of a crime.

Although often at the center of controversy and the target of lawsuits by former wards and their families, Shafer’s fitness to manage the finances of others has never been seriously challenged — not even after he and two associates were found to have accepted commissions for steering investors into a massive swindle.

The operation was in fact “a classic Ponzi scheme” that bilked 800 investors out of $180 million, the SEC said.

In agreeing to the settlement, Shafer, King and Gamett admitted no wrong­doing and maintained that they were unaware of the fraud. The Utah man at the heart of the scheme went to prison.


 April 12, 2015


Escape was the only option for an old soldier trapped in the guardian system (Video included)

A court clerk told her she needed to see Jared Shafer, who for 24 years handled estate administration and guardianships as Clark County public administrator before starting Professional Fiduciary Services of Nevada, a guardianship company for hire, in 2003.

Shafer told Schultz he would act as a temporary guardian until conservator­ship could be transferred to California, which should have taken about six months. She assumed the transfer would go quickly with such an experienced guardian involved.

In a few months she realized she was wrong.

A month after he was granted temporary guardianship, Shafer petitioned the court to make it permanent — a legal move that tethered Olvera and his money to Nevada.

Rather than making an easy move to California, Olvera was stuck in Nevada while his family was forced to watch him lose everything.


Recent statement from a victim:

Tip of the hat to the LVRJ! The Review Journal did a wonderful job leveraging online video in presenting the issue with these articles by Colton Lochhead. You must go online and watch the videos.  Hopefully the authorities will finally take action. KTNV-ABC News, The Vegas Voice, INSIDE VEGAS, and now the Review Journal can't all be misguided or mistaken. Commissioner Norheim has penalized family members at 2.5X assumed damages and/or removed them from protecting their mother, father, sister, or brother based on argument alone. Norheim consistently ignores and denies presented evidence of wrongdoing by the private guardians and Hoskin defends him. His rulings indicate an intent to line the pockets of the lawyers and private guardians and insure as much money as possible is fleeced from these innocent and unsuspecting families forced to seek justice through litigation.

It is an insult to the families who have presented legitimate estate documents and/or clear and convincing evidence of wrongdoing by guardians for Hoskin to place the burden on them to expose guardianship abuse. The court's job is to resolve factual disputes. Evidence presented and Nevada law gives them that authority.

Hoskin, (Family Court Judge Art) Ritchie, and Norheim only have to read the evidence to correct the guardianship abuse issues in Clark County. They refuse to protect the disabled elderly and their estates because they don't want to. The real question is why? - Richard Black

  Public Administrator John Cahill                                       Clark County Administrator's warehouse

Then there's that mysterious warehouse at 515 Shadow Lane. Its located next door to the Clark County Public Administrator and Public Guardian's office once occupied by Jared Shafer. Current Public Administrator John Cahill was hand chosen by Shafer to be his successor, and ran his political campaign with A-frame signs from Shafer's sign company. Rumor has it that the four story warehouse is chock full of treasures stolen from dead wards of the county. We may never know because the warehouse is fortified better than Fort Knox, and the county commissioners (they also use Shafer's signs at election time) don't seem to care about this story, and appointed Jared to the Clark County Board of Equalization where he's able to determine taxable value of real property.

Some of the players:

         Family Court Judge Charles Hoskin                                       Guardianship Commissioner Jon Norheim

                                              PFSN employees Amy Viggiano Deittick and Patience Bristol

                                 Shafer's CPA Bruce Gamett                                                        Shafer's travel agent Doug Crosby

                                           Shafer's business partners, attorneys Patricia Trent and Elyse Tyrell

                                  Shafer, Trent, and Tyrell's political signs promoting certain judges and politicians

This disgrace is now in the hands of the Clark County District Attorney, Nevada Judicial Discipline Commission, Nevada Assemby and Senate, Nevada Attorney General, United States Attorney for Nevada, and the FBI. (Brazil is beautiful this time of year. I suggest Mr. Shafer be required to turn in his passport.)


Guardian Jared E. Shafer Exploits Special Needs Trust of 24 year old cerebral palsy victim:

Private Guardian Jared E. Shafer Orders Judge To Close Court To Public

Financial Records From Jared Shafer's Office:

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