James Hurst Miller’s sentencing delayed, again
June 20, 2012
An Atascadero lender facing up to 80 years in federal prison will have a few more months of freedom after a judge delayed his sentencing for a second time.
James Hurst Miller, the former president of Hurst Financial Inc., agreed to plead guilty to charges of swindling as many as 1,200 investors out of more than $100 million in a fraudulent investment scheme on August 19, in an agreement filed under seal.
However, they did not take Miller into custody.
U.S. District Judge Otis D. Wright delayed Miller’s first sentencing from March 26 to June 25. Currently, Miller is scheduled to be sentenced in U.S. District Court in Los Angeles on Oct. 29.
A 2008 CalCoastNews investigation revealed James Hurst Miller and former North County developer Kelly Gearhart allegedly bilked more than 1,200 people, primarily senior investors, out of much of their life’s savings.
If the court convicted Miller on all four counts in his original information — mail fraud, wire fraud, money laundering and making a false statement to a bank — he would face a maximum sentence of 80 years in federal prison.
Under an alleged plea agreement discussion discovered by CalCoastNews in April, Miller had agreed to testify against other persons being investigated by the FBI. In return, Miller was requesting prosecutors reduce the four counts to one and allow him to serve a reduced prison sentence in the minimum-security federal correction facility located in Lompoc Calif.
During a hearing in September, Miller relinquished his passport and secured his release through a $25,000 bond.