Updates to our Terms of Use

We are updating our Terms of Use. Please carefully review the updated Terms before proceeding to our website.

Sunday, June 16, 2024 | Back issues
Courthouse News Service Courthouse News Service

Woman Says Private Vault Firm Stole $40,000

LAS VEGAS (CN) - Jaclyn McMahan says she cried when she learned someone had drilled out her safe deposit box and stolen her life's savings of $40,000 from The America Guardian private vault.

McMahan, who is in her 30s, leased a private safe deposit box at The American Guardian, a private vault business in a former bank building in southeastern Las Vegas.

But when she tried to get into it on Oct. 26, 2014, a security iris scan did not work, and an employee named "Jimmy" said the lease had ended and someone had drilled out her safe deposit box and removed its contents, McMahan says in her Nov. 10 lawsuit in Clark County Court.

Her $40,000 life savings gone, McMahan says, she "immediately broke out into tears, began to tremble, and became nauseated at the horrific thought of her life savings being stolen."

She says Jimmy told her to come back the next day, and that the owners would know what happened to her money, but when she called The American Guardian the next day, she was told no one named Jimmy worked for the company.

McMahan says in the lawsuit that in other calls to the business that day she would "speak to various people who had the same voice and tone, yet kept choosing different names to identify themselves" and that she "quickly learned The American Guardian was not run by honest businesspersons."

She claims The American Guardian employees "hide under false names," refuse to give customers copies of their contracts and that co-defendant owners Gaby and Nadav Katz ignored her demand letters.

She claims Gaby Katz told her to discuss the matter with their "counsel," but no one ever helped her find out what happened to her $40,000 or how to get it back.

"Most interestingly, Gaby Katz was surprised that Ms. McMahan was able to identify his name and the name of his business on the demand letter and expressed that he wished to not be readily identifiable," according to the complaint.

McMahan says her life savings "was stolen by The American Guardian, Gaby and Nadav," and that state law requires them to deposit her money with the Nevada Unclaimed Property Division and wait three years before declaring the funds abandoned - but they refuse to help or even talk to her.

McMahan says she checked with the Property Division, which said The American Guardian did not deposit the contents of her safe deposit box or "the contents of any else's safety deposit boxes."

McMahan says she leased her safe deposit box for 12 months on May 9, 2013, and that The American Guardian's website claims it gives customers the option to extend their leases before the rental agreement expires.

The website , checked Wednesday morning, states: "Prior to the extension of your rental agreement, you will have an option to extend it."

McMahan says the company never sent her a renewal notice.

She wants her $40,000 back, and punitive damages for conversion, bad faith, unjust enrichment, conspiracy, concert of action and negligence.

She is represented by Nadin Cutter.

Gaby and Nadav Katz could not be reached by telephone Tuesday.

Categories / Uncategorized

Subscribe to Closing Arguments

Sign up for new weekly newsletter Closing Arguments to get the latest about ongoing trials, major litigation and hot cases and rulings in courthouses around the U.S. and the world.