Las Vegas Sun

February 24, 2018

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Metro officer one of four charged with exploiting elderly couple

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James Melton

A Clark County grand jury today indicted a Metro Police lieutenant and three others on charges of exploiting an elderly couple, according to the Nevada Attorney General’s Office.

Police Lt. James Melton along with April Parks, the owner of A Private Professional Guardian, Mark Simmons, Parks’ office manager, and attorney Noel Palmer Simpson misled a court to illegally obtain control of more than $700,000 worth of assets from a couple between 2010 and 2017, officials said.

Melton, who’d been with the Metro since 2004, was “relieved of duty” without pay pending the outcome of the investigation. He bailled out from the Clark County Detention Center, according to police.

Parks and Simmons were jailed on previous charges while Melton voluntarily turned himself in today, and Simpson made arrangements to turn herself in at a later time, officials said.

According to officials, Melton hired the three suspects to act as a guardian for the victims. Simpson, the attorney, filed false and misleading legal papers, while the suspects “committed several crimes in order to carry out this exploitation,” officials said.

“Protecting Nevada’s families and vulnerable populations is the overarching mission of this office, and one that I take very seriously,” Attorney General Adam Laxalt said in a statement. “Just a few short months after obtaining the most significant elder exploitation indictment in Nevada’s history, my office has once again teamed up with our local law enforcement partners to ensure justice is served against those seeking to exploit our elderly. These targeted crimes strike at the very heart of our tight-knit communities, and will be pursued aggressively by my office.”

In March 2017, Parks, Simmons and Simpson were named in a 270-count indictment related to similar charges, officials said. Parks was charged with more than 200 felonies, Simmons was charged with more than 130 felonies, and Palmer was indicted on two charges.

Gary Neal Taylor was indicted on seven felonies, officials said. Their case is scheduled to go to trial in May.

Charges on the current case, according to officials:

Melton was charged with two counts of exploitation of an older person and one count each of theft and grand larceny, seven counts of offering false instrument for filing or record, and two counts of perjury.

Parks is facing one count each of exploitation of an older person and perjury and six counts of offering false instrument for filing or record.

Simmons was charged with one count of exploitation of an older person and two counts of offering false instrument for filing or record.

Simpson is facing one count each of exploitation of an older person and perjury and eight counts of offering false instrument for filing or record.

The case was investigated by Metro, the Attorney General’s office and the Clark County District Attorney’s Office, officials said.

A Wednesday afternoon call to Melton’s listed attorney, Josh Tomsheck, was not immediately returned.