This week’s “WALL OF SHAME” recognizes the Reno Nevada area and Washoe County. Judges Egan Walker and JudgeDavid Hardy continue to sponsor trust and guardianship frauds with their negligence on the bench.
Nevada is a hotspot for financial frauds. Like Florida and Texas it has no state income tax and great weather. It also has inexpensive entertainment with its casino establishment and liberal trust laws. As a result it has become a haven for retirees and predatory trust companies like Premier Trust. Premier is owned by a Israel linked private equity firm Landenburg Thalman Financial Services located in Miami, FL.
They market themselves as the go to trust company for attorneys, “Attorneys across the country use us for our ability to creatively address their clients’ needs. *We do not have in house attorneys nor do we provide legal advice.
Our model of serving in an administrative capacity and not acting as investment advisor means attorneys can refer [Premier] without the fear of us poaching business from their referral sources.
As a Nevada chartered trust company and one of the top trust companies in Nevada, we give attorneys and their clients access to the Nevada Advantage: Nevada’s favorable trust, corporate, asset protection, and trust laws.”
Judge Hardy should have learned his lesson when his favorite professional guardian Angela Dottei was criminally convicted for stealing nearly $400,000 from her wards back in 2010. The judiciary used the affair to demand reforms but never addressed the core issue of their commitment to reward attorneys who lie and mislead to protect guardians like Dottei. The practice continues today and has only gotten more brazen across the state. “Biggest lie wins” is fully acknowledged by complicit judges as litigation privilege by predatory probate and adult guardianship litigators. Hardy continues to naively trust long standing fellow members of the Nevada Bar who practice before him like Gordon Muir, Todd Torvinen, David Spitzer, Ryan Earl and others.
We have been following three cases in Washoe County; Susan Hillygus’s (deceased) trust and guardianship fraud case with Judge Walker, the Giannotti Trust case of Premier Trust with Judge Hardy, and the disabled adult guardianship case of Casey Pickett, 25 with Judge Walker. The evidence in each case shows the family was committed to protecting their loved one and their legitimate estate documents but the predatory legal community had other intentions and knew these judges would help them achieve their goals.
Gene and Susan Hillygus had perfectly executed trust and advance directives in place in 2014 when their recently divorced and self centered daughter Robin became upset because her parents chose her brother Roger as their executor and successor trustee. Attorney Todd Torvinen working in partnership with Gordon Muir, Ryan Earl, and David Spitzer were happy to help destroy the Hillygus estate by discrediting Roger and placing Susan in an involuntary guardianship after Gene’s death in 2015.
Roger is now facing criminal kidnapping prosecution for rescuing his mother who was being isolated and neglected in a second rate long term care facility. Judge Walker fully leveraged his relation with DA Chris Hicks to retaliate against Roger with kidnapping claims.
Brad and Bill Kantlehner are beneficiaries of the Gionnatti Trust managed by Premier Trust. Premier and their supportive attorney customers love it when trust beneficiaries disagree with their spending habits or lack of transparency. Each complaint becomes a feeding frenzy for predatory allies to come to Premier’s aid and bill against trust assets. “The Brothers” as they are referred to in petitions in this 2017 probate case have lost over a million dollars due to the mismanagement by Premier and the protections Judge Hardy and his fellow members of the Bar afford them. Most of the losses have been court approved “missing” assets and fees to the attorneys defending Premier. Judge Hardy is fully committed to protecting his Nevada Bar cronies and the benefits of trust opacity at the expense of trust heirs.
Casey Pickett moved to Nevada with his mother to be closer to family and escape an abusive father in Kansas. He is autistic but quite mobile and self sufficient. His disabilities made him the perfect target for a fraudulent guardianship and Medicaid fraud. Upon arriving in Reno and his mother signing him up for local disabilities programs she was discredited for the actions of her abusive ex husband(and father of Casey) in Texas to have Nevada DHHS petition for guardianship.
Casey was removed from his mother’s home and family in 2019 and isolated in a local group home. Court documents reveal the state is paid $19,600/month for his care when the market rate for care in the group home where he is being held is less than $3,000/month. Several attempts to bring this case to the attention of the Nevada AG who investigates and prosecutes Medicaid fraud have been unsuccessful. Casey continues to be held in isolation.
Estate trafficking and fraudulent guardianships are fully operational in Washoe County Nevada. Sadly nothing has improved since reforms were put in place in 2017. The attorneys were never held accountable and the additional federal funds acquired to support changes just went to the same actors proclaiming to the public the system is there to protect them.
Last Updated on 06/21/2021 by Fly