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Las Vegas police lieutenant pleads not guilty in exploitation case

A suspended Las Vegas police lieutenant, a guardian and two other people pleaded not guilty Wednesday to various theft and elderly-exploitation charges.

James Melton, with the Metropolitan Police Department since March 1994, faces 14 felony counts. They include charges of theft, grand larceny auto, perjury and exploitation of an older person.

District Judge Tierra Jones set a September trial date for Melton, guardian April Parks, Mark Simmons and attorney Noel Palmer Simpson. All four were indicted last week on charges that stretch from December 2010 to May 2017.

Prosecutors allege that Melton worked with Parks, the owner of A Private Professional Guardian LLC; her office manager, Simmons; and Simpson to exploit an elderly couple.

Melton, who most recently worked in Metro’s homeland security division, has been on paid suspension since July, when authorities launched the investigation. He is expected to be relieved of duty without pay, according to a statement from police.

In the indictment, prosecutors allege that Melton hired Parks, Simmons and Simpson to act as guardian for Beverly Flaherty and obtain control of more than $700,000 in Beverly and Jerome Flaherty’s assets.

Less than a year ago, a Clark County grand jury indicted Parks on more than 200 felony counts that include racketeering, theft, exploitation and perjury.

Contact David Ferrara at dferrara@reviewjournal.com or 702-380-1039. Find @randompoker on Twitter.

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