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Las Vegas estate attorney pleads guilty on embezzling funds from clients

Ronald Delos Santos

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Estate attorney pleads guilty on embezzling of millions from clients
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LAS VEGAS, NV — A longtime estate lawyer Robert Graham admitted in District Court on Thursday, September 7, to stealing more than $16 million from his clients, most of whom depended on financially on trust funds he supervised. Graham regulates wills, probate and other subjects related to the distribution of a deceased person’s estate.

Graham, 52-year-old, who is in custody at the Clark County Detention Center on $5 million bail out fee, pleaded guilty before the District Judge Kerry Earley to a couple of felony counts of theft and three counts of exploitation of an older and vulnerable person. The estate attorney is facing a prison term of 16 to 40 years at his January 11 sentencing.

“He’s a despicable predatory thief, plain and simple,” The District Attorney Steve Wolfson said after the hearing. “He’s going to serve more time in prison than some murderers. As much justice as we could deliver was delivered today.”

“I’m guilty of these charges, your honor,” Graham claimed before the District Court judge.

His legal representative, Deputy Public Defender Bryan Cox, added: “It’s been a very difficult case, especially for the victims and the victims’ families.”

In the courtroom, the Chief Deputy District Attorney J. P. Raman, the lead prosecutor in the lawsuit case, read aloud the names of more than 110 clienteles who deserve a share of the $16 million in return prosecutors will seek against the accused.

The money was embezzled between the stretch of 2011 and 2016, Raman said in the court papers.

The thefts — which ranged from as small-scale of $20 to more than $1 million — took placed in 64 estate cases, 21 trust funds, 10 guardianship cases, and four special needs trusts, the court papers reads.

In interviews with the Centrio News after his formal charge earlier this year, his former clients described their angers with Graham as they fought to get him to turn over their moneys in the years and final months before the accused closed his law practice.

Graham secretly amassed an average of $187,000 per month in client funds over the several years to a secret bank account to run his law practice and pay personal bills.

Moreover, Graham used client funds to pay $244,000 in his taxes and $700,000 a year to run advertisement for his law office. Additionally, he also used the money to make thousands of dollars more in charitable donations to numerous non-profit organizations, including the Church of the Latter Day Saints and Boys Town of Nevada, the testimony reads.

Meanwhile, the Assistant Bar Counsel Janeen Isaacsonhas since asked the State of Nevada Supreme Court to permanently disbar Graham.

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Ethics Complaints Filed Against Henderson City Mayor, Councilwoman

Ethics complaint accuses Henderson City Mayor Debra March and Councilwoman Gerri Schroder of not succeeding to abide with transparency policy.

Ofelia Adamson

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Debra March Henderson City

Debra March mostly prioritized on government transparency during her electoral campaign for city mayor. Now, less than three months after taking the seat and governing the city, an ethics complaint accuses her and Councilwoman Gerri Schroder of not succeeding to abide with transparency policy.

The moral code complaint reads that both March and Schroder failed to make public their links with the Henderson Community Foundation during the Henderson City Council votes related to the foundation.

A City of Henderson resident who wishes to remain anonymous filed the complaint last week before the Nevada Commission on Ethics.

“This is an inherent conflict of interest,” the ethics complaint says. Mayor March and Councilwoman Schroder could not be reached for their respective comment.

“No one at the city of Henderson or any elected official has been notified by the Nevada Commission on Ethics about any actions being taken,” the Henderson spokesman David Cherry said.

The ethics complaint filed to the Nevada Commission on Ethics against the city mayor and councilwoman centers on a June 6 City Council meeting when March and Schroder “insinuated they had an arms length relationship” with the Henderson Community Foundation. The complaints also claims March only disclosed her ties with the foundation because she had commenced an investigation into the Friends of the Henderson Police Department Foundation.

Back in May, March told the Centrio News that the investigation into former Henderson Police Chief Patrick Moers was started after she have seen a mailer sent by Moers to local business possessors. The mailer included Moers’ photo and a picture of a City of Henderson police badge.

“Debra March intentionally and willfully failed to disclose her 15-year relationship with the Henderson Community Foundation in order to benefit and further her political agenda and the standing of the HCF over the Friends of the HPD Foundation.”

“March intentionally disparaged the reputations of the foundation and the former police chief and deputy chief,” the complaint wrote.

Election campaign finance records show that Schroder’s campaign donated more than $7,500 to the Henderson Community Foundation, while March’s campaign donated $1,650.

Back in 2015, both March and Schroder became members of the Henderson Community Foundation’s chairman’s council.

“We’ve never asked Debra or Gerri to fund raise for us in any way,” said vice president of the Henderson Community Foundation and founding member James Green. “They’ve never been involved in our conversations regarding funds with the police department.”

Meanwhile, the Ethics Commission Executive Director Yvonne Nevarez-Goodson said that she could not verify or renounce the ethics complaint because the are confidential until the jurisdictional review panel rules whether a violation have occurred.

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Nevada Supreme Court disbars Vegas lawyer who embezzled clients’ money

The Nevada State Supreme Court justices has formally disbarred the longtime Las Vegas estate lawyer Robert Graham.

Ofelia Adamson

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estate attorney Robert Graham

The Nevada State Supreme Court has formally disbarred the longtime Las Vegas estate lawyer Robert Graham, who admittedly embezzling millions of moneys from his clients.

In a four-page document filed on Monday, September 11, the chief and associate justices of the Nevada Supreme Court said that the disbarment was irreversibly permanent, and they directed Graham to shell out money and pay $17.2 million compensations to the victims as well as a $1 million fine.

“Because the amount of misappropriated client funds is staggering and Graham exploited vulnerable people, disbarment is the only appropriate discipline,” the Nevada State Supreme Court justices wrote on the document.

Graham, who is in custody of the Clark County Detention Center, pleaded guilty last Thursday in District Court for five felony counts, including theft and exploitation of vulnerable people most of whom depended on financially on trust funds he supervised, while hesitantly admitting he embezzled more than $16 million.

The 52-year-old Graham faces a 16 to 40 prison years and will be sentenced on January 11.

At a disciplinary hearing last March, a prosecutor with the State Bar of Nevada recommended seizing Graham’s license, alleging his embezzlement topped $17 million over the past 10 years.

The Supreme Court concluded that the Nevada State Bar had settled its case.

The State justices learned that he exhibited egocentric intentions, declined to concede his wrongdoings and did not care about making restitution.

Graham was charged by a county grand jury in associated with the stealing in January.

Graham stealthily stole an average of $187,000 per month from his client funds over the several to a special bank account to fund his law firm and dish out personal bills.

Additionally, the indicted lawyer used his client funds to pay $244,000 in his professional taxes and $700,000 per annum in advertisement expenses for his law firm. Graham also used the stolen funds to make thousands of dollars more in charitable donations to numerous non-profit organizations, including the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and Boys Town of Nevada, the document reads.

Eric Hawkins of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Salt Lake City issued a statement back in January claiming that the church would turn over any donations that may have been donated to them fraudulently.

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