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Inside Vegas - Steve Miller

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:

Under color of law, exploiter-guardian
Jared Shafer had a license to steal
the 95th birthday of a WW2 hero

A loving family were called "kidnappers" for
taking the heroic action of bringing
Guadalupe Olvera home

"On September 22, 2010, (Ms.) Schultz kidnapped Mr. Olvera under cover of night
and brought him to California. In disregard of numerous court orders, Schultz refused
to return him to his home in Las Vegas, Nevada. Schultz is now in contempt of court
and a bench warrant has been issued for her arrest." - Jared E. Shafer, Nov. 2, 2012

July 19, 2014, rescued "ward" Guadalupe Olvera celebrates his 95th birthday with family and friends
at the beach in Santa Cruz, California (Photo by Rebecca Schultz)

INSIDE VEGAS by Steve Miller
July 28, 2014

LAS VEGAS - Had the family of WW2 hero Guadalupe Olvera followed Nevada law, their patriarch would not have been allowed to celebrate his 92nd, 93rd, 94th, and 95th birthdays with family and friends at his home in Santa Cruz County, California. He would have been confined to a rest home in Las Vegas after the death of his wife, and would probably have died by now of loneliness and neglect under the "guardianship" of Jared E. Shafer and his protégé Patience Bristol.

(Video taken at Mr. Olvera's 95th birthday party.)

After the death of his wife Carmela, instead of staying confined in Las Vegas where he had no friends or relatives, Mr. Olvera asked his family in 2010 to move him back to California - against court orders - to spend the rest of his life with his only child Rebecca Schultz, her husband Bob, their daughter, and grandchildren.

Since Olvera's rescue, one of his former court appointed guardians, Patience Bristol, was sentenced to 5 - 8 years in Nevada State Prison for exploiting the elderly while she was employed by Jared Shafer, who has not yet been charged with a crime.

Amazingly, Mr. Olvera's Las Vegas confinement and the bleeding of his assets were completely sanctioned by an unjust Nevada law inspired by Shafer, and under the orders of one of Shafer's cronies Clark County Family Court Guardianship Commissioner Jon Norheim. Though Olvera was no longer receiving guardianship services from Shafer or Bristol, the court-approved financial bleeding from his bank accounts and other income continued for three and a half years after Olvera's move to California, a state where Shafer and Norheim have no jurisdiction.

Shafer's Law

In May 1991, Shafer was the elected Clark County Public Guardian. He and his attorney Patricia Trent, went to the Nevada Supreme Court that year and requested a redraft of portions of the Nevada Revised Statutes relating to eligibility for public guardianship based on what they called "perceived weaknesses in existing standards and statutes."

Unbeknownst to the Supreme Court Justices, their compliance with Shafer and Trent's request would result in the draconian future ability for "private guardians" with the injudicious approval of the Clark County Family Court to take power of attorney over all personal and financial rights of hundreds of wealthy local senior citizens and disabled persons.

Nineteen years later, Guadalupe Olvera's family rescued him from one of the most exploitive guardianships I have ever reported. Since his liberation in 2010, "Lupe" has lived a happy and healthy life with his family in Coastal California, though by helping him come home, his daughter has had to hire lawyers in California and Nevada to defend herself against expensive SLAPP suits brought by Shafer and his crew.

Up until the time of Mr. Olvera's rescue, no one has successfully removed a ward from a Shafer guardianship without Shafer and his Family Court judge's approval, hence the retaliatory SLAPP suits.

The litigation against Olvera's daughter was mostly funded from money Shafer bled from her father's family trust during the years he had complete power of attorney over Lupe's person, annuities, two carpenter's pensions, Social Security, Veteran's benefits, and bank accounts, an amount estimated to exceed $420,000.00 was taken before a California Superior Court Judge put an end to Shafer and his highly paid attorney's exploitation.

According to Shafer's Law: "Eligibility for public guardianship is based on: 1. county residence, 2. incompetence, 3. need, 4. the lack of suitable family or friend willing and able to provide the service."

Number 4 of Shafer's Law is the Catch-22 that has allowed Shafer, et. al. to bleed the fortunes of so many Clark County residents since his 2003 retirement from elected office and the opening of his private guardian service. Because of Shafer's Law, no one living outside Nevada can be the guardian or fiduciary of a person deemed to be incompetent or physically disabled by a local Family Court judge.  Per Shafer's law, an out of state relative cannot even be the fiduciary of a ward's assets or bank accounts, even though the ward's personal physical needs are being cared for by a locally licensed guardian. Per Nevada law, every aspect of a ward's life and fortune will be under the control of a non-relative as long as the ward stays put in Nevada, and as long as no relative moves here to attempt to usurp Shafer or one of his associates at one of their highly controlled Vegas Family Court hearings.

The Nevada guardianship law is custom designed to allow private guardian services such as Shafer's PFSN, Inc. (Professional Fiduciary Service of Nevada) to bleed the inheritances of out of state heirs of Nevada seniors. Even in the event an out of state relative tries to establish Nevada residency to care for a loved one under Shafer's guardianship, Shafer invariably tells the court that the person is "unfit" or an "exploiter," and certain judges invariably agree.

(Poor people are never put under court ordered private guardianship. They have too little to steal.)

Other than limiting the suitability of family and friends to be guardians, Shafer's Law also stipulates: "2. The guardian should provide competent management of the ward's property, income and disbursements consistent with statutory guidelines. 3. The guardian should implement prudent accounting procedures and exercise diligence and intelligence in avoiding conflicts of interest. 4. The guardian should insure that all goods and services purchased for the ward are delivered and rendered. 5. The guardian should comply with all requirements of the court including, but not limited to, filing an inventory, reports, and annual accountings."

Number 5 is the second Catch-22. It gives Family Court judges complete control over all other aspects of private guardianship including disbursements of a ward's funds, accounting procedures, filing of inventory, reports, and annual accountings. In numbers of cases involving PFSN, Shafer has been challenged for not being accountable, but has succeeded in quashing the challenges by citing that he has a judge's approval of his sloppy or non-existent accounting practices.

In Guadalupe Olvera's case, he suffers from major hearing loss and can barely walk without the assistance of a walker which resulted in him being rendered incompetent by Judge Norheim. This opened the door to Olvera's initial exploitation, until a Superior Court Judge in California reversed Norheim's ruling on Olvera's competency based on the opinions of doctors with no ties to Shafer.

I believe the reason so many Clark County Family Court judges never challenge Shafer is that he and his attorneys Patricia Trent and Elyse Tyrell are the owners of Signs of Nevada, a company that donates or rents portable A-frame political signs to candidates running for Family and District Court judgeships.  Few candidates for local judicial office have been elected without using these signs.

Shafer's Judge

Click HERE to view the 2:27 sec. court record of Shafer and his personal Family Court Judge Jon Norheim mocking and ignoring the wishes of then-ward Guadalupe Olvera.

Then-91 year old WW2 hero pleads to be allowed to spend his final days with family in California. Private
Guardian Jared E. Shafer (below right) signals his displeasure to Family Court Judge Jon Norheim who
refuses to permit Olvera to leave LV.  Olvera's Family defies court and moves patriarch to Santa Cruz
CA while funds continued to be drained from his account in Nevada to pay lawyers to fight for his return.

In another 1:25 second court video, Shafer shows his power over the Family Court by ordering Judge Norheim to clear the courtroom of spectators after attorneys representing another of Shafer's wards accused him of stealing. Keep in mind that Shafer is only a private citizen and has no authority to order the clearing of a public courtroom.

How it began

                                Click on image to read full Sun City promotional article

I believe Sun City Anthem used the Olveras as a promotion to encourage more elders to relocate and purchase homes from them. Rebecca Schultz told INSIDE VEGAS that she remembers her mother's excitement after being contacted by Sun City and asked to do an interview with the Review Journal.

The chain of events leading to the Olvera's exploitation began when Mr. and Mrs. Olvera received a brochure in the mail enticing them to relocate to Southern Nevada and purchase an expensive Sun City retirement home in one of two golf course communities overlooking the Las Vegas Strip.

The first thing the Olveras were asked to do after moving into their new home was attend a Wealth Management seminar in their community's club house. There they were introduced to "asset protection" attorney John Dawson of Lionel Sawyer & Collins, one of Nevada most prestigious law firms.  According to Mr. Olvera, John Dawson soon learned the extent of his and his wife's wealth, if they had relatives living in Nevada, and whether the couple had an up to date will or living trust. That's when the nightmare began.

          John Dawson                     Jared Shafer                                  Patience Bristol

Dawson offered Carmela and Lupe his services to set up the Olvera Family Trust, and make Wells Fargo Bank the trustee. After the trust was put in place, Wells Fargo never questioned Shafer's billings or duplicate payments despite an email sent to Rebecca Schultz from trust officer Eve Mills stating she was there to insure no duplicate payments would be made.

Immediately following the death of Carmela Olvera, Jared Shafer and Patience Bristol were appointed by Judge Norheim to care for Lupe. Soon thereafter, Shafer began charging Olvera's trust account a minimum of $422 per hour for his guardianship services with the approval of Wells Fargo Bank officials Eve Mills and Susan Bull.

Click HERE for a list of Shafer's court approved overcharges.

Nevada is known for its two most lucrative industries, gambling and retirement. Nevada gambling is highly regulated and used as a model by other states and nations. Unfortunately, because of Nevada's lax guardianship laws that are essentially nothing more than a license to steal, Nevada should never be a model for the retirement industry.

Meanwhile, John Dawson and Jared Shafer are allowed to continue their activities with the tacit approval of the Clark County Family Court.

BACKGROUND INFORMATION on Guadalupe Olvera's war over Nevada's guardianship laws

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