Cal Poly computer guru probe may be illegal

April 17, 2008


A reproachful e-mail besmirching a Southern California man sent to a popular San Luis Obispo County radio talk show host may spell big legal troubles for a Cal Poly Internet technician and the university.

Don Carver used his Cal Poly e-mail address to launch a passionate defense of a financially troubled and controversial North County hard money lender, Estate Financial, in an April 14 rant to Dave Congalton of 920KVEC. Carver also implied in the e-mail that he had conducted a thorough Internet probe of a San Dimas developer, Ron Cooper.

During a searing critique of Congalton for his recent show on the Estate Financial problems, Carver noted that “I did a little background check on your boy Ron Cooper. Carver then provided what he suggested were details of Cooper’s private tax information.

Carver also wrote, “I’m sure if you called a few investors in Southern California they would tell you how much money they have lost because of Ron Cooper. The man is not one who should be leading any investors anywhere!!”

Cooper is a developer who has been a key organizer of hundreds of unhappy and worried investors who have placed funds with Estate Financial. He has been candid about his various financial woes, many, Cooper said, created by Estate Financial, with whom he has had a contentious business relationship.

He will file lawsuits alleging defamation of character against both Carver and Cal Poly, Cooper told this week. Carver did not respond to repeated e-mails and telephones calls from reporters.

“IRS information is confidential and two of the statements he made were categorically untrue,” Cooper said.

Tax records are restricted, available only through a voluntary release by the taxpayer himself, or by subpoena from law enforcement or other government officials.

Rapael Tuino, a spokesperson for the IRS, said, “In general, taxpayer information is confidential; we cannot disclose. For example, I cannot confirm or deny if an individual filed a tax return.”

Carver, in his e-mail to Congalton, also listed other financial circumstances of Cooper’s, many of which would not be readily available through most ordinary Internet searches. Coincidentally, Carver is Cal Poly’s lead technician, in the use of Office SharePoint Server 2007, a powerful Microsoft software program that allows users “to access information anytime, anywhere,” according to the product’s Web site, which also notes, “SharePoint provides out-of-the-box searches” and “lets users go beyond documents and across repositories to unlock information, find people, and locate expertise.”

Carver is listed in LinkedIn’s online directory as Cal Poly’s “SharePoint guru” and “server geek.” He’s been with the university since 2000, according to the directory. Cal Poly spokesperson Stacia Momburg said that Cal Poly does allow its employees to use e-mails for personal reasons under the school’s Information Technology Resources Responsible Use Policy.

Carver expressed anger that Congalton referred to a recent article detailing a 36-day period during which the SLO County Clerk-Recorder’s grantee/grantor Web site listing was not updated. The site reports data on foreclosures and other property and loan information.

“San Luis Obispo County is not the only county that is behind on their postings of foreclosures,” Carver claimed in his e-mail to Congalton. “It is going on all over the state. GET REAL.”

However, following Carver’s claim, asked more than a dozen California county clerk recorders how often their grantee/grantor online listings are updated. All claimed to update at least once each working day; some even freshen twice.

Tags:, Cal Poly, Congalton, Estate Financial


By: Anonymous on 4/23/08

Dan & Karen..please please please do a local issues blog!

This town begs for a good blog site on local and national issues!

We can read your great work and make comments as well! That way when we pop in we don't see a 5-7 day old story!

It will keep things fresh and current.

We are tired of congalton's radical lefty crap!

Here is Dave's latest comment on his blog (which only gets 1-2 posts per day):

Dave Congalton said…

Bush lied

4000 died

10:52 PM

C'mon you guys! This fool has his head stuck in the 1990's! We need a blog with intelligence. Please at least try it.

just try it…If you build it we will come!!!

By: Anonymous on 4/22/08

Poster "Wake Up Blackburn!"

I will bet you $500 that is Congalton in disguise!

he wanted this site to do well…but not this well!

By: Anonymous on 4/22/08

To Wake up: People of SLO are hungry for a great place to blog. There is room for both!

To "Who to blame":

Remeber this. A mostly democratic congress has for 30+ years harassed the oil industry telling them where to drill, when to drill, how much to drill, how to refice it, how to ship it and the list goes on. I went through the gas lines of the 1970 and pray I never have to again.

Now the shoe is on the other foot and the oil companies under punative laws of congress and the increased world hunger for oil are sitting back and raking in huge profits. So be it!

Let em drill & refine! We have enough American oil to satify up to 35% of our consumption. or…pay $6 a gallon. The choice is yours.

Vote for $6 gas and you get a dem…vote for $2.50 gas you get a republican.

Choose wisely!

BTW and with due respect this has nothing to do with war. I hope you have no collapsed those domains of information!

WTG Karen & Dan!


By: Anonymous on 4/22/08

Blackburn, time for a new article, please.

Also, can you please start editing out comments that don't relate to the topic. This isn't crappy talk radio. Thank you.

By: Anonymous on 4/22/08


You are right, however we still have a President who thinks we need to attack one more country to spread our way of living. High gas prices work to survive, my way or the highway. I always voted Republican and have questions about the country is going. We are transferring wealth out of the country at a fast pace. A little war here and there and we'll be riding bikes like the Chineese while they are driving Beemers.

By: Anonymous on 4/22/08

Here is a typical blog post on the KVEC Congalton Marxist blog:

Comment deleted

This post has been removed by the blog administrator.

7:21 AM

Thanks Dan & Karen! We need you more than ever now!

Keep up the good work!

By: Anonymous on 4/22/08

I only have one concern and therfore one question?

If they close the beach state parks , will the snowy plover survive??????

By: Anonymous on 4/22/08

In just one year.

Remember the election in 2006?

Thought you might like to read the following:

A little over one year ago:

1) Consumer confidence stood at a 2 1/2 year high;

2) Regular gasoline sold for $2.19 a gallon;

3) The unemployment rate was 4.5%.

Since voting in a Democratic Congress in 2006 we have seen:

1) Consumer confidence plummet;

2) The cost of regular gasoline soar to over $3.50 a gallon;

3) Unemployment is up to 5% (a 10% increase);

4) American households have seen $2.3 trillion in equity value evaporate (stock and mutual fund losses);

5) Americans have seen their home equity drop by $1.2 trillion dollars;

6) 1% of American homes are in foreclosure.

America voted for change in 2006, and we got it!


By: Anonymous on 4/21/08


"Since last February 1, 2006, Estate Financial was a borrower from Heritage Oaks Bank on an unsecured line of credit in the amount of $5,000,000. Guth was a guarantor on the line of credit. About 11/15/07 EFI entered into a "CHANGE IN TERMS AGREEMENT" with Heritage Oaks Bank. "The third paragraph on the first page of the agreement describes the change in terms including an extension of the maturity to 11/15/08, that the loan is no longer a revolving line of credit and that collateral for the loan has been added which includes a deed of trust on each of the two gas station properties owned by Templeton Products, Inc.

Can Heritage Oaks Bank sustain a $5,000,000 loss?

LYING: Guth/Estate have no lawsuits against them. Here's two for you to look up – 6/22/07 Case CV070549 and 1/10/07 CV071107. The latter includes a cause of action asking the court to issue a permanent injunction prohibiting Guth and Yaguda from continuing to engage in unfair, deceptive and/or fraudulent business practices.

Investors – you are LAST IN LINE as Guth/Yaguda have mortgage away EVERYTHING.

By: Anonymous on 4/21/08

Amused by Stupidity

Why dignify such a stupid comment

By: Anonymous on 4/21/08

I believe you meant KARL Marx.

What an idiot . . . .

By: Anonymous on 4/21/08

Yes! Dave Congalton's show is great. I have been training him for years and it's now bring the fruit of my labors.

Keep up the good work of reinventing America into the model you & I both agree with.

As for the others…screw em! Socialism is something they will have to learn to live with.

I will reward you for your work dave! Press on!


By: Anonymous on 4/21/08

First, the Dave Congleton show is great! Why anyone wants to cut on it and hurt the guy is beyond me! He's a good man and good at what he does!

Second, Karen Velie, set up Paypal so we can make donations. I believe this is your living, right?

Third, this person at Cal Poly obviously obtained Ron's records from a creditor and it wouldn't be so far fetched to suggest someone affiliated with Estate Financial provided him with that info. It's a strategic move to void Ron of credibility before his meeting. Isn't this obvious to any of you?

By: Anonymous on 4/20/08

Oh my G_d.

On March 17, 2004 Karen Guth swears under penalty of perjury as follows:

"EFI's largest asset is a note receivable from Republic Properties, which is not collectable."


By: Anonymous on 4/20/08

Quote Charlie Applebaum 12/2/2003 in a sworn statement in court in SLO County. Go to the court and see it for yourself.

"The real reason Estate Financial has had to transfer "bad loans" to Republic for workout is that the Respondent (Karen Guth) decided to advance certain funds which were invested by investors on one project, to the builder on another project. This action is clearly inappropriate….."

She has been committing this illegal act of commingling fund since at least 2003, so says her ex-life partner.

By: Anonymous on 4/20/08

I am not sure what relevance it is to the story that he is CalPoly's SharePoint admin. Unless Mr. Cooper gave CalPoly his tax information, it would not be on any CalPoly servers and therefore SharePoint would not have any ability to find it. It seems like the writers of this article have a fundamental misunderstanding of what SharePoint is and how it works both in general and at CalPoly specifically.

By: Anonymous on 4/20/08

Go to that website and see for yourself the lies and fraud that started all of this.

1. Interest stays constant . . . eliminating fluctuations due to changing economic conditions.

2. Principal value of investment does not vary.



Four bold lies.

What else do we need to know!

That's what my complaint to the Department of Corporations says. What does your's say?


By: Anonymous on 4/20/08

Once again we have a discussion where the topic ends up being Dave Congleton. Is he paying someone off??? I've nothing against the guy, but why does the discussion always get back to him? This is my definition of a small town!

By: Anonymous on 4/20/08

Right on to the last two posts. I have very strong feelings about our national leadership, I think more than Nixon little shrub has polarized the masses to the hilt. But the issue at hand is how best to recover our investments. Stick to that here.

If you don't like Dave then blast him on his site.

By: Anonymous on 4/20/08

Ignore the anti-Congleton idiot and stay focused on local issues. There are plenty of blogs that allow comment on the moron in the white house and Dave's blog is fair and balanced.

By: Anonymous on 4/20/08

These last two posts are irrelevant to the issue at hand and obviously from the same person.

If you have a problem with Dave, then don't listen to his show and don't read his blog. Most of all, don't divert the discussion from the issue at hand on this thread.

I first heard of UncoveredSLO by listening to KVEC and I am grateful to Dave for giving Dan and Karen such exposure.

By: Anonymous on 4/20/08

Dan & Karen, please heed this request!

A blog on local and national issues here would be killer and it would help you both a great deal. Your traffic will quadruple at least!

Please please consider adding an issues blog. It is so needed now and with your skills and impact you'd be driving local opinion into the next decade. You have the help you need to moderate this blog, and we will all support you, as will more lucrative advertisers once they see the traffic increase!

C'mon! Give it a chance! The community is reaching out to you. Please try this, I know it will work!

KVEC's blog sucks! Period! And who knows how long it will be there? We all know all the local stuff is gone in time…so act now and set the foundation.

I would emplore you to not let Congalton participate at all. I will address this privately with each of you.

By: Anonymous on 4/19/08

Congalton's blog is all copy-npaste anyways! BORING! And by far are his rants about hating G W Bush.

This "talk show host" is obsessed with hating everything Bush to the point that his blog is failing as is his show.

When W leaves office will Congalton leave KVEC?

We can only hope!

Karen and Dan! You guys need to an issues blog along with your reporting. This place would rock! Please consider it.


By: Anonymous on 4/19/08

Paso Guy

The reason the managment fees are of concern are the simple concept that they "EF" are incapable of righting the ship and are only buying time. The time brings them fees. Why not just keep buying time and collecting fees?

By: Anonymous on 4/19/08

question for insider:

Why does the management fees concern you? If EF is to keep their doors open so it can, over time, shut down the fund, then it needs employees.

Some months ago (January), I met with Josh to get and accounting and explanation…he told me at that time that he and Karen were working this through completion without compensation. Do I know oif that's a fact? No, but that's what he told me.

If you feel you have evidence of wrongdoing, I suggest you go to the DA with it. Otherwise, you're wining is getting old.


By: Anonymous on 4/19/08

You all should be smart enough by now to know that each and every one of those loan accounts as well as the fund has some kind of balance. As long as Karen can keep you off balance Estate can continue to raid each and every one of those accounts under the guise of management fees. First the builders stopped recieving thier draws, then the investors stopped recieving thier interest payments. I haven't heard anything about Estate not getting thier draws. This is ass backwards. When things started going south they should have stopped taking fees and next the investors should have stopped recieving interest so the constuction could have been completed and finally the the construction would have to be halted. At least you would have been made aware early in the process of system failure and the construction would be complete or closer. If Karen really wants to make things right request she turn the fund managment over to a board of directors made up of the larger investors in the fund, say 10. Karen and Josh could be on the board. Hire an independent CPA to do a quick review of all accounts to determine how much money exists in each loan account. The ongoing question seems to be where did the money go. I am suggesting the more important questions is how much is left, where is it going right now, and where are we going to get the money needed to finish the things that need to be finised to liquidate the properties. I guarentee you no one, no bank, and no new investors are going to loan anything on this mess unless you get control of it and leaving Karen in total charge at this point shows to everyone you don't have control.

By: Anonymous on 4/18/08

Lets face some reality. If Karen loaned out 70 to 75% LTV, even with the downturn, there should still beenogh value left for close to 100% in liquidation. Most of the money went intothei own Partnerships that wre fully (over) funded than filed for BC. All legal even if it is unethical. However, there is more than one way to skiin the cat. I, for one, will make sure that the cat/ass and all will be skinned.


By: Anonymous on 4/18/08

Seriously, there's enough stupidity throughout this whole issue to keep inquiring minds awful busy. The real issue here is investor credibility and real estate fraud. For the past two and a half years real property values have been based solely on fraud. Any and all who purchased real estate during this period will likely lose a significant portion of the property's value. For no other reason than the real estate industry not only created the opportunity for fraud but actually encouraged it. Fraud hurts.

By: Anonymous on 4/18/08

Keep digging at Cal Poly, Karen and Dan. There is so much more for you to uncover, and of even greater import than what you have unearthed here.

By: Anonymous on 4/18/08

I deffinetly see a problem with this fellow Carver. Particularly considering that some of the information he retrieved using Cal Poly systems was accurate and legally confidential. Its my understanding that Mr. Cooper has filed a law suit not just for slander but for illegal access to secure information perpatrated by Mr. Carver with the help of Cal Poly equipment and identification. How did he manage it? Why heck, thats his job at Cal Poly! He just misused his position a little and then broadcast it. That was beyond dumb..

By: Anonymous on 4/18/08

It's one thing to forward an e-mail, but who posted it on the blog? Stupid all the way around I say.

By: Anonymous on 4/18/08

Karen and Josh did not tell us anything new at the meeting yesterday except to tell us that they did not have the staff to provide professional, polite, and timely investor communications. I applaud them for finally admitting that, and for promising to immediately resolve that problem. It only took a meeting like yesterday to get them to agree to do that. And that fact says volumns about who Karen and Josh are.

They also admitted that they did not know where the money for the "fully funded" loans went for the projects where there is no construction. I hear people blaming Ron Cooper for that. Folks, Ron Cooper wasn't managing our money. We did not get to select Ron Cooper as the receipant of our money. Karen did that all by herself. If it was a poor decision, and I'm not convinced it was, it was Karen's decision. If the money is "fully funded" but the project itself doesn't reflect that, then the blame is squarely on Karen and Josh.

Many questions were left unanswwered yesterday, but then we only had two hours. Nevertheless here is a question for all of you to ponder. If, for the past 18 months EF did not have the ability (for whatever reason) to respond to our investor inquiries then how in the world is Estate Financial going to manage the properties they have foreclosed upon.

Investors like me need to take control of our own money, and we need to do it now.

Who is going to lead us there?

Or, do we wait for a governmental agency to control our money. Surely if that happens we lose everything. And fellow investors, the goverment is closely looking at EF right now!

With the list EF is going to give us, I urge you to contact your fellow investors and develop a plan.

April 18th, 2008 at 2:18 PM


By: Anonymous on 4/18/08

I forwarded Mr. Carver's email to Karen because it directly attacked her reporting and I wanted to let her know about it. What she and Dan did beyond that was completely their call.

But I agree with "Baker Warren"? below — you are an idiot and setting yourself up for serious trouble if you work for PG&E, or the county, or Cal Poly — any business — and you send nasty emails to people on corporate/government accounts. Just really dumb.

By: Anonymous on 4/18/08

Microsoft's Sharepoint program is designed for use on an internal network. The software is deployed at thousands of organizations across the world to help them manage the ever growing amounts of business information and to provide real time collaboration between employees that are geographically separated. It has absolutely no capacity to search public databases or gain access to confidential information as the article is implying.

By: Anonymous on 4/18/08

How they find out who sent the e-mail? Did Dave give him up for another 15 minutes of whatever?

By: Anonymous on 4/18/08

You folks are on a wrong track here. Somehow you take a stretch that because microsoft has advertised a products capabilities (as being more than it is) and Carver works with that product … that he somehow did something wrong with it. This does not hold watter. I don't know much about this story … but Don is not the type to abuse these systems, even IF they were capable (and they are not) of getting the info talked about.

By: Anonymous on 4/18/08

The only meritous part of Anonymous' post is the dubbing of a new nickname for Dave. I sort of like the ring of "Congalto;" sounds powerful and subtle. Sort of foreign and mysterious.

The rest of Anonymous' post is clicks and buzzing.

While I have spent the last several years disagreeing with Congalto, his posts on this site show his commitment to The News. I hate to say it, but I am starting to like him.

Tune in this afternoon at 5:00 to hear him and his shenanigassers try to find reason in the Planning Commission's latest disaster, smart growth.

By: Anon


By: Anonymous on 4/18/08

Lost in the fog of dispute over whether the use of public $$$ to investigate and reveal data on a private individual to a media outlet is news or not… is the end note about Julie Rodewald's computer system. (That's a story of its own, uncovered.)

But spying on us? Our government does it so well we become numb to the abuses.

By: Anonymous on 4/18/08

Anonymous, what planet are you from? You and Baker seem to speak from nowhere. How do you know this story is without merit? Why are you hounding Congalton? When are you going to learn how to spell?

Code Pink is dedicated to Peace and Justice-no sane person can find fault with that. Perhaps you are more interested in lies and torture. Figures…

UncoveredSLO does what their name implies, uncovering that which is hidden from the eyes of the public, the very fabric of the nation. Sort of ironic, Anonymous, you are the sort of person who would tell Dave, Dan and Karen to leave the country if they don't like it. What hypocrisy, they love the country and want to improve it by exposing the problems we have. Hurray for the investigative journalists and the public forums for us to vent on. Even you have a right to say your thing, however misguided.

If you have some FACTS to support your assertions (whatever they are, hard to tell) then let's see them.

By: Anonymous on 4/18/08

I don't think Congalton wrote this story, Anonymous. Why don't you ask the reporters why they posted this. They must think it is news.

By: Anonymous on 4/18/08

Congalto has his lil nose in everybody's buisness these days.

He wants to take credit for this site since his is dying a slow death.

Maybe he should stay in his own backyard and not try to have his finger in everything.

His time has come and gone. So be it.

But he has NOTHING to do with site!!!!!!

Nada, zip, zilch! Could somebody tell him please?

You'll find him at the next Code Pink meeting.

By: Anonymous on 4/17/08

I don't think there is a story here. The reporting is assuming an awful lot and there's really no connecting of the dots. Congalton gets an angry email (what else is new?) and forwards it to Velie/Blackburn. They whip together a story claiming this guy Carver somehow tapped into Cal Poly records to get information on Ron Cooper. It just doesn't make any sense, folks. Maybe Carver is skilled with Google. I;m just not buying this.

But if a Cal Poly employee sent an irate email to anyone on a address, they should be reprimanded.

By: Anonymous on 4/17/08

What does this pinhead Carver have to say for himself?