On Monday, June 10, 2019, the Center for Estate Administration Reform (CEAR), with the support of Senator Thom Tillis and No Equal Entertainment, hosted a free screening of the documentary “The Guardians” by Billie Mintz at the Russell Senate Office Building in Washington, D.C. as part of the World Elder Abuse Day activities including the Knowledge Is Power conference and WEAAD Fifth Global Summit.
“The Guardians” describes the experience of victimized families of fraudulent guardianships in Las Vegas, Nevada from 2010-2017. They ultimately found a degree of justice by banding together and exposing the pattern and practice of rewarding guardianships in denial of estate documents, state and federal law, and familial objections. One of the families in the film, Rudy and Rennie North, was featured in The New Yorker article, How The Elderly Lose Their Rights. The film brings their story to life and underscores the entrenched corruption in the Nevada guardianship system.
Due to the attention of media, former guardian April Parks faced more than 200 felony counts and was sentenced 16 to 40 years in jail. She was one of the most active private professional guardians in the region and often acted as the surrogate decision-maker for 50 to 100 elderly and mentally incapacitated people at a given time. As guardian, she had full control of their finances, estates and medical decisions.
Participants in the movie, victims from across the country and legal experts were there for the screening and joined in a discussion afterwards about how estate trafficking occurs in an equity court environment, and what we can do to avoid this type of exploitation. What was exposed in Nevada is an example of what is happening across the country in hotspots like Florida, Texas, Virginia, Michigan, Washington State and elsewhere.