James Miller pleads guilty, daughter gets immunity

January 30, 2014
Kelly Gearhart and James Miller

Kelly Gearhart and James Miller

By KAREN VELIE

Former Hurst Financial President James Miller agreed to plead guilty to a four-count criminal complaint under an agreement that his daughter Courtney Brard will not be prosecuted.

Miller, 63, pled guilty in 2011 to charges of mail fraud, wire fraud, money laundering, and making a false statement to a bank. Miller and former North County developer Kelly Gearhart allegedly swindled some 1,200 investors out of more than $100 million in a lending scheme involving hard money.

As part of Miller’s plea agreement which is currently under seal, the government agreed to issue an immunity letter to Brard, according to court records.

“Has anyone attempted to threaten you, a family member or anyone close to you in an effort to get you to plead guilty?” the court asked Miller on Sept. 28, 2011, according to a court transcript. Miller then told the court he had not been threatened.

In 2008,  state regulators accused Miller and Brard of working with or under the direction of Gearhart in defrauding investors. Miller and Brard then admitted to state regulators their complicity in fraud.

As part of his 2011 plea, Miller agreed to “provide the government with cooperation in the investigation and prosecution” in future cases, according to court records. And as part of the agreement, Miller will spend no longer than nine years in federal prison, court records say.

Gearhart was indicted on July 5, 2012. Shortly afterwards, Gearhart pled not guilty to 16 charges of mail fraud, wire fraud and money laundering at a federal court in Los Angeles. He faces up to 300 years in federal prison if convicted on all charges.

Gearhart’s fraud trial and Miller’s sentencing hearing have been delayed five times for a variety of reasons. At this time, Gearhart’s trial is set for June 17 and Miller’s hearing is set for Sept. 8.

 


20 Comments

  1. itsouttheyr says:

    Seems that all the information in this article is all “OLD” news. This article isn’t reporting anything new that hasn’t been disclosed already. Guess its just CCN’s way to keep the Miller/Gearhart story out there and keep everyone stirred up.
    Just saying – if you don’t have anything new and important to report to the community – don’t do it.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 23

  2. Lilylu says:

    Where is Jay Miller living now and where is his daughter Courtney. Does anyone know? Just very curious as to how people continue to live free for years after their crime. Last heard Kelly was in Ohio and was continuing to do business there. Is he still? I can’t seem to get away with not paying my dogs license fee.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 28 Thumb down 0

    • bsdetective007 says:

      Before the FEDS put a freeze on Millers assets,his wife bought a house wanting to pay
      CASH for it under her name ONLY. they had transferred all utilities in her name before escrow closed AND wanted to have a walk through without the owners being present. Fortunately all funds were frozen that day. COURTNEY and her husband Josh Brard live at the Lakes in Atascadero, the Last I heard. He is in construction. His father is too. His father (Probilt) learned well from Courtney and her father. He likes to take money that doesn’t belong to him too. That’s all I know for now.

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

      • Still Standing says:

        I think it’s so crazy that Jay and Kelly have gotten away with all of this for so long. Unless, the FEDS are just gathering up the bottom feeders that Jay and Kelly will be throwing under the bus! Like, what ever happened to David Graves, David Graves Construction, DLG Development? I have heard his wife got smart and divorced him and that his monster log house in Atascadero has been sold. So where is HE now? Maybe he’s holed up with Kelly in OK! After all, birds of a feather flock together right?

        Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  3. SLO_Johnny says:

    If some guy steels $1000 from a bank and he get 25 years. These two gangsters steel $100,000,000 and get 9 years with time for good behavior.

    You can steel more with a briefcase and a smile than you can with a gun.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 34 Thumb down 0

  4. SmilingJack says:

    The casino guys are getting worried too,including their buddies in the tribe.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 16 Thumb down 0

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