- Associated Press - Friday, March 10, 2017

LAS VEGAS (AP) - Another court-appointed financial guardian in Las Vegas has been charged with looting the assets of a ward, whose interests she had been assigned to protect when he was a teenager.

The guardian, Susan Rousselle, was charged Thursday with exploitation of a vulnerable person and theft from the special needs trust of Jason Hanson. Her attorney, Nicholas Woolridge, said Rousselle intends to fight the 44 felony counts against her. She could face decades in prison if convicted.

The filing was the second in two days lodged in state court against a court-appointed guardian.

Authorities on Wednesday announced a 270-count indictment against April Parks and three other people accused of siphoning more than $550,000 from accounts of about 150 people assigned as wards of the court to Parks and her company, A Private Professional Guardian LLC.

Rousselle was not in custody Friday. A Clark County District Court judge issued a warrant for her arrest on Thursday and set her bail at $200,000.

Prosecutors said Rousselle was appointed legal guardian of Hanson when he was 16, and became trustee of his special needs trust after he turned 18. Hanson uses a wheelchair, and the trust was established for his care by an inheritance from his grandmother.

The indictment alleges Rousselle stole more than $50,000 from the account starting in 2007.

Nevada authorities created an enforcement task force in late March 2015 after stories emerged about abuses in the state’s guardianship system.

The Nevada Supreme Court also created a 25-member commission in July 2015 that meets monthly to study guardianship issues.

Private financial guardian businesses are separate from a Clark County Public Guardian office that serves people legally determined to be incapable of managing their own affairs.

The public office also offers a voluntary money management assistance program for people over 60.

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