Arlington, VA – Freedom Partners Action Fund announced today the launch of a new television ad backed by $750,000 showing how Catherine Cortez Masto ignored pleas for help as a Nevada senior citizen was taken advantage of by the state’s guardianship program.
The ad features Heidi Pascal, who tells the story of how her mother, Marcy, was thrust into the state’s guardianship program after her husband passed away in 2006. Marcy was placed in a retirement home with “filthy” conditions, so she asked the Nevada court for the right to move to California, where Heidi resided.
The court granted Marcy’s request in 2007 to live in California. During that time, the Nevada guardian still appointed to oversee her estate went on to remove more than $350,000 in fees. Marcy’s relatives reached out to then-attorney general Catherine Cortez Masto for help, but their reports were ignored.
Marcy was taken back to Nevada in 2009 and died under the Nevada guardian’s care shortly after.
“She was neglected and financially exploited,” Heidi says of her mother. “We repeatedly appealed to Catherine Cortez Masto for help, but she ignored us.”
“My mom died alone while Catherine Cortez Masto looked the other way,” Heidi adds.
Freedom Partners Action Fund spokesman Bill Riggs issued the following statement:
“A vulnerable elderly woman suffered abuse and was defrauded for hundreds of thousands of dollars, and Catherine Cortez Masto ignored her family’s pleas for help. Cortez Masto has a history of looking the other way while state-appointed guardians exploited seniors, and Nevadans deserve better.”
Marcy Dudeck’s Estate Was Billed More Than $350,000 By A Nevada Guardian Despite Residing In California:
After The 2006 Death Of Husband Michael Dudeck, Guardianship Was Established For Marcy Dudeck In Nevada. “Marcy & Michael Dudeck lived in Nevada. When Mr. Dudeck died in March of 2006, Heidi Pascal, the Dudeck’s daughter in California, asked her brother, Lance, to move from San Diego and take care of their mother. Lance moved into his parent’s home with his girlfriend, Marissa. Several months later Marcy’s daughter, Heidi, received a letter from her brother’s girlfriend stating Lance was beating her and she had witnessed Lance striking his mother. The letter went on to say the brother was making meth in the garage. Lance tested positive for meth by a county facility appointed by the Las Vegas Family court in September of 2006, which resulted in the mother being removed from the home. Due to these circumstances created by Lance Dudeck, a guardianship was established in Nevada for Marcy Dudeck.” (“Marcy E. Dudeck,” National Association To Stop Guardian Abuse, Accessed 8/18/16)
Marcy Dudeck Had Been Placed In A Retirement Home With “Filthy” Conditions, Leading Her To Ask Heidi Pascal To Remove Her From The Facility. “In 2006 Fred Couzens quoted the daughter of one of Shafer’s victims as saying ‘…When we got to… Chancellor (Gardens) we found the conditions were filthy and Marcy said, “Heidi, I want to come with you to California. Please get me out of here” even though she was placed there by… (Clark County Department of) Social Services,’ Charles said.” (Editorial, “We’re Still On The Job And Not Backing Down,” Las Vegas Tribune, 4/30/15)
In November 2006, Daughter Heidi Pascal And Her Husband Charles Took Marcy Dudeck To California To Live In An Assisted Living Facility Near Their Home. “In November of 2006 after Commissioner Jon Norheim turned down their third request, The Pascals took Marcy to California and placed her in Sunrise Senior Assisted Living in Playa Del Rey.” (“Marcy E. Dudeck,” National Association To Stop Guardian Abuse, Accessed 8/18/16)
In 2007, A Nevada Court Granted Dudeck The Right To Stay In California, But Appointed Jared E. Shafer As Her Guardian. “In 2007 the Nevada court granted Marcy Dudeck the right to stay in California and said she should remain at Sunrise for the rest of her life. The court appointed Jared E. Shafer, of Professional Fiduciary Services of Nevada, to act as her guardian, even though Marcy now resided in California.” (“Marcy E. Dudeck,” National Association To Stop Guardian Abuse, Accessed 8/18/16)
As Guardian, Shafer Removed Over $350,000 In Fees From Marcy Dudeck’s Estate Trust Even Though She Was Living In A Different State At The Time. “One year past. Heidi and Charles received two calls from the IRS stating Marcy’s taxes had not been paid. Upon investigation the Pascals learned Jared E. Shafer had not only neglected to pay taxes but the bills from Marcy’s home in Nevada were not being paid. In addition, Jared E. Shafer had removed over $350,000 in fees from Marcy’s estate trust account even though he hadn’t performed any guardian services for Mrs. Dudeck, since the court order specifically stipulated Mrs. Dudeck must remain in California for the rest of her life.” (“Marcy E. Dudeck,” National Association To Stop Guardian Abuse, Accessed 8/18/16)
Pascal Reported That He Called Catherine Cortez Masto’s Office, But Was Would Not Take Reports On Any Guardian. “Pascal recounted the conversation with a staffer in Masto’s office. ‘I got a staff member on the phone who said “we don’t take reports on guardians,”’ he recalled. ‘I said but what happens when someone is kidnapped? … They put me on hold. Then they asked me the name of the guardian. I said the guardian’s name is Jared Shafer. Then I was put on hold again. They came back and said “we don’t take reports on Jared Shafer or any guardian.”’” (Lachlan Markey, “Families Of Abused Nevada Seniors Blame Politics For Senate Hopeful’s Inaction, Washington Free Beacon, 9/21/16)
Marcy Dudeck Was Taken From A California Assisted Living Facility By Heidi Pascal’s Brother Lance Dudeck On August 6, 2009. “Exactly two days before an evidentiary hearing, which was to take place on August 6, 2009 in Los Angeles, Marcy E. Dudeck was kidnapped from Sunrise Senior Assisted Living in violation of an May 2007 Nevada court order which stated Mrs. Dudeck would remain in the California facility for the rest of her life. Witnesses heard her begging to not be taken away. Marcy was going to testify in court that she wanted her daughter, Heidi Pascal, to be the guardian of her person in California.” (“Marcy E. Dudeck,” National Association To Stop Guardian Abuse, Accessed 8/18/16)
Dudeck Died Shortly After Being Kidnapped And Returned To Nevada By Lance Dudeck. “The son’s response was to kidnap the Ward and bring her back to Nevada. She died shortly thereafter. While in California, the daughter filed motions in several Courts seeing TPOs on behalf of the ward. She also filed for Guardianship in California as well.” (Judge Charles J. Hoskin, “RE: Your Guardianship Court Inquiry,” Eighth Judicial District Court, Family Division, 11/24/14)
Marcy Dudeck Died Under Jared Shafer’s Care In Nevada On February 25, 2010, After Experiencing Weight Loss. “When Marcy Dudeck died in Nevada under Jared E. Shafer’s care on February 25, 2010, her weight had dropped to 122 pounds. Her Medicare benefits had expired exactly five days before her death.” (“Marcy E. Dudeck,” National Association To Stop Guardian Abuse, Accessed 8/18/16)
According To Charles Pascal, Dudeck’s Autopsy Listed Dehydration As A Cause Of Death, And Photos Showed A Very Large Hole In The Heel Of Her Foot. “Marcy’s son-in-law, Charles, said the autopsy listed dehydration as one of the causes of death. Marcy’s condition had suspiciously gone downhill in just a few months. Photos indicated a very large hole in the heel of her foot. Charles and Heidi realized that Marcy’s rapid deterioration was suspicious and contacted the Los Angeles Police Department.” (“Marcy E. Dudeck,” National Association To Stop Guardian Abuse, Accessed 8/18/16)