Fraud lawsuit filed against Gearhart, Hurst

May 6, 2008


Local investors are alleging they were bilked out of millions by Hurst Financial and developer Kelly Gearhart.

David Rios and Murray Powell filed an 11-count lawsuit Tuesday in San Luis Obispo County Superior Court. Allegations include fraud and civil conspiracy by Hurst Financial president Jay Hurst Miller, Hurst loan officer Courtney Brard, and Gearhart, and claims they misled investors and misappropriated funds.

Gearhart is alleged by investors and others to have co-mingled finances, paying from one investment fund to construct another.

The complaint revolves around a construction loan by hard money lender Hurst Financial to Gearhart for the erection of a commercial building at 5730 El Camino Real in Atascadero. On Oct. 12, 2006, Gearhart, through Hurst Financial, received $2 million from 17 investors to finish the project. That loan had an April 12, 2008, loan maturation date. The property is currently a vacant lot.

Miller and Gearhart did not respond to’s requests for comment.

Hard money lenders specialize in short term, high interest construction loans that are often used as bridges to help a developer finish a project. Loans are based on the value of the underlying asset rather then the borrower’s credit rating. These kinds of loans are primarily funded through private investors.

Lenders lure investors with promises of high interest, low loan to value rates, and assurances that funds are placed into secured accounts with payments provided to developers as the work progresses.

According to the claim, Hurst wrongly asserted funds would be disbursed as improvements were made to the project. Hurst doled out the entire construction fund to Gearhart even though no work had been done on the property.

Miller admitted this in an April 18 e-mail to Powell regarding the project:

“After reviewing this loan within our escrow trust account, all net proceeds from Cuesta Title Co. after the purchase of the property and points paid to Hurst Financial went to Morro Road Homes LLC (Gearhart), in good faith,” Miller wrote in the e-mail obtained by “After doing business with Gearhart Development for 23 years, I have done many of my loans in the same nature. I obviously know we are under-secured at this time, due to the building not being constructed.”

Rios and Powell are seeking recovery for all investors in the loan for damages of $2 million, interest fees, cost of the suit, and unspecified punitive damages.

Tags:, Atascadero, fraud, Gearhart, Hurst Financial, lawsuit

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By: Anonymous on 5/11/08

to get it right

Not real estate people? Last I checked the hard money lenders held real estate broker licenses. I think that makes them real estate people. right?

By: Anonymous on 5/11/08


note with keen interest the failed dealing of EFI, a posting on uncovered-slo mentioned the BFA ( Baptist Foundation of Arizona) as being similar to EFI demise. Having been involved in the BFA matter years ago let me tell you two things.

John McCain who was and still is attending the same Church that started the BFA Scandal and who advised me and many others to invest into the BFA telling us is was " Safe & Secured" shortly a Phoenix New Times Story unraveled the mess. Pastor Dan Yearly told us it was a safe investment. Only thing is he too was bilked into telling us and the thousands of others at NPBC ( North Phoenix Baptist Church)As it turned out it was a $ 635 Million Fraud and Ponzi Scam. Now that i have friends who did invest in EFI the only one i knew who got out and got the inside scoop was Cindy and she has now left to enjoy her Monies in Nevada. All the others she warned refused to listen to her, well now they wish they had. She warned us it was a fraud and scam. She was connected to Rodewald who told her get out NOW. The other Hard Money lenders and borrows are doomed as well. The money is now sitting in a Holding Company based in Nevada being moved to off shore accounts in small amounts each week as not to get the attention of the Federal regulators.

By: Anonymous on 5/11/08

What a mess and no it is not going to get better, it is going to get much worse in the days coming up. I suggest you all look towards two firms for your monies: VERDOT Group, and Cookham Holdings, LLC they have been funneling some large cash assets all from EFI and HFL Express, LLC

By: Anonymous on 5/11/08

What a mess and no it is not going to get better, it is going to get much worse in the days coming up. I suggest you all look towards two firms for your monies: VERDOT Group, and Cookham Holdings, LLC they have been funneling some large cash assets all from EFI and HF Express Group, LLC

By: Anonymous on 5/11/08

to insider

Get your facts right. the lenders, HURST & EFI along with developers did this to investors. No real estate company was involved with the lenders and developers. Yes some realtors did sell some of these properties because fortunately these were the successful projects were the investors did get their money back. let's put the blame where it should be and keep your ramblings to a minimum.

By: Anonymous on 5/11/08

True irony

a 64 year old homeless man who lives out of his car robs a few real estate people of a few hundred dollars. We manage to catch him within days throw him in jail and I bet he will do some serious time.

Now we have some real estate people who rob a bunch of old people of hundreds of millions of dollars. Commiting the same act over and over. Complaints filed over and over. Yet thier still in buisness and in controll of the victims assetts. Free as a bird.

Poor old man he should have asked them to invest.

By: Anonymous on 5/11/08

Insider – Let no one say that you aren't fair. Look at all the work you've done to give the perps some direction.

By: Anonymous on 5/11/08

The Condo's behind the A&W are a bad location and won't sell very well. They are near the freeway and Kelly lives right along the 101 and probably doesn't think much about the noise but the general public wants a quiet peaceful neighborhood. Even in good times the two projects we are discussing would have had major problems. He built a lot of cheap stuff and cut a lot of corners. He was doing the old Rob Peter to pay Paul & Kelly routine. The problem with this type of lending is that if a project goes bad it seems only natural to dip into the funds from another until you can realize a gain(sale) and then pay it all back. It obviously doesn't always work out and thats why it's against the law.

By: Anonymous on 5/11/08

Thanks for the info Cindy. Kelly was selling 600 sq' cottages with no land for 300+K? I purchased 2500sq' new for 525 with! The senior deal wasn't such a deal but thats what they call affordable housing. Joke, They will always be rental properties.

By: Anonymous on 5/11/08

To Insider,

Regarding the Printery. It was agreed that the city would return it to the Masons and that the Mason's planned on giving it to Kelly. As I recall Kelly was to do some sort of a property trade with the Masons so that they would have a meeting hall. The Proptery is free and clear but there are many restrictions on it because of the FEMA funds that the city collected for it's damages.Also prior to it being traded the city recorded it as a national historical site (more restrictions). Its a white elephant. His senior project behind the home depot has gone down the tubes because they are little 600-800 sq ft homes with no land in a barren complex and Kelly wanted 300+ for them!! People had to be over 55 to occupy them. That was the deal Kelly had to make with the city in order to over come the zoning. No one would buy so he ended up renting to whom ever he could and that caused problems. He deffinetly went way up-side down on that development.

By: Anonymous on 5/11/08

from Dan and Karen's Article

Rita is a 65-year-old Cambria resident who suffers from multiple sclerosis and can no longer walk. Her husband placed the couple’s savings, $830,000, with Hurst Financial prior to his death from a long term illness, thinking he had guaranteed his wife’s financial security.

“I need 24-hour care,” Rita explained. “Without my interest and possibly my investment, I’m not going to be able to afford my caregivers and I will have to sell my house. I don’t know where I will end up. I am scared.”

According to Rita, Miller failed to return numerous calls she placed to him requesting information. In the midst of the financial turmoil, Miller took a 10-day trip to Hawaii.

By: Anonymous on 5/11/08

Somebody earlier probably Kelly himself stated how smart and successfull he is. Well shooting his mouth off on that show sure disproved the first and the state of his projects shatters the second. My observation is he spent all that money he was loaned on these commercial projects that has disappeared on his failing residential projects behind the home dempot and the A&W in Atascadero as well as many others scattered around Atascadero and the County. And what about the Printery. He somehow seems to have ended up with that with no attachments. Did Hurst do a loan on that. Does anyone know about the status of weather he owes anything on that or has it free and clear?

By: Anonymous on 5/11/08

A Kelly Gearhart Development?

Drive 10 miles east of Paso Robles on hwy 46 and you’ll come to 10 acre parcels for sale on the north east side of the road. You can’t miss them.

There are a couple of homes that have sold and are occupied.

I believe these 10 acre lots are owned by Kelly, but aren’t selling.

One reason is that getting on and off hwy. 46 in very dangerous.

We looked at the two homes for sale there and they are small and poorly laid out.

They have an entrance court yard that cuts into the square footage of the home and divides them in an ineffectual manner. No wonder they haven’t sold!

By: Anonymous on 5/11/08

Thanks for replying Insider and Anonymous. I figured if he was insistent about using one term over the other, there must be some perceived advantage to himself.

Regardless….he can use any term he wants, but at the end of the day, it only matters what the legal papers and law say. It makes more sense that the individuals are "investors" and Hurst is the "lender" since it is the professional entity of the two groups involved. Sure would hate to be in Kelly's or Jay's shoes at this point…..wonder just how well they are sleeping these days knowing that folks are finally demanding answers they can't (or won't) provide?

Good luck investors….I sure feel for you.

By: Anonymous on 5/10/08


I know the person who asked that question about commingling funds. Aside from turning Kelly inside out did anyone notice how fast Kelly came up with a last name on the questioner? Right on the tip of his tongue. I know for a fact they have never met!

Are our friends in Atascadero investigating the investigators?

No matter what, Kelly showed what a thug he is and for sure shot himself in the foot for the whole hour. He lied the whole time, what a creep.

I think it would be lovely to have Jay on the show.

I wonder when throwing former partners under the bus will be a daily thing in this saga.

By: Anonymous on 5/10/08

Kelly is more scared than he lets on thats why he's obsessed with this lender-investor thing. He thinks a lender can't put him away but an investor can. Probably has something to do with the comingleing thing too.

By: Anonymous on 5/10/08

I also noticed that Kelly kept referring to investors as lenders. I "sort of" dismissed the oddity. I think Karma and Insider are onto something here. It makes sense.

By: Anonymous on 5/10/08

one last thought

Gearhart got real sketchy when someone asked him if he was comingaling funds. I fact he got quite upset. One can only draw thier own conclusions as to why. I would guess his money is more mixed up than if it was all put in one of those Jack LeLane juicers.

By: Anonymous on 5/10/08

to Karma

I'm no attorny, However I have been in these kind of deals for 30 years as a builder borower. The individuals that put up the funds, have allways been refered to as investors. They are gathered by the lender. Hurst in this case. The lender Hurst secures the investors on a first trust deed by percentage of investment and the borower provides a note. Now since Gearhart is so determined to define the investors as lenders it says one thing to me. He wants to put himself in the possition that if they forclose on the properties that are thier security that this is thier only recourse and by them getting the property even though it may be worth only a quarter of the money invested that it would be the sole recourse for what he calls the lender as would be the case say if the bank forclosed on your home in this market and it dropped in value. They couldn't come after you for thier loss. Now if your an investor I assume your situation is different and you could take the property and then proceed against all and any of his assets as well as proceed against him crimanally for fraud, comingalling of funds, misappropeiation of funds as well as other things I'm sure. In other words you could forclose and then go after anything he has and even try and throw him in jail. The interesting part of this is in taking this possition he is essentially throwing Jay Miller of Hust financial under the bus for all the same. I'm no attorney but it looks like he's ready to turn on whoever he has to.

By: Anonymous on 5/10/08

to Karma

I noticed the same thing and forgot to mention it. Base on the last blog by Kelly Anonymous there is some obvious legal reason. Contrary to Mr. Anonymous's blog I have always considered them the investors and Hurst the lender.

By: Anonymous on 5/10/08

From the borrowers perspective, the people who funded these loans are in fact "lenders" and not "investors".

A "lender" loans money for a specific period of time which is to be repaid with interest. That's the case here with people who have funded "hard money" loans.

An "investor" aquires an immediate ownership position, which is not the caes here.

On the other hand, from the perspective of the lending institution, in this case Hurst, the money sources are considered an "investor" because they provide funding and assume a potential for loss.

Bottom line: To Gearhart they are Lenders, to Hurst they are Investors.

By: Anonymous on 5/10/08

Finally got caught up on the Dave Conglaton's podcasts featuring Kelly Gearhart and Murray Powell.

Wow is about all I can say. Kelly did not disappoint and managed to solidify his reputation as being arrogant, abusive and deceptive. I thought Murray Powell came off very knowlegdeable, informed and committed to getting some real answers to his questions regarding the missing money. It'll be interesting to see how this all plays out that's for sure.

Does anyone know why Kelly kept insisting that the investors were really "lenders"? He repeatedly made that assertion and correction and I found it very curious. He sure likes to split hairs and many of his responses were disingenuous to say the least but I can't help but think there must be a reason he kept making that particular distinction.

Great work Karen and Dan….sure nice to real some real investigative articles about things happening in our local area. Please keep it up!

By: Anonymous on 5/10/08


Sorry about my typing. I know what I'm saying but I'm old and the chair and the keyboard and the fingers don't always connect as fast as I'd like. I'm old but I don't have alzheimers. I know what I'm saying to you.

By: Anonymous on 5/10/08


Avoid the Confusion. get together and son't get "railroaded". Stay with the acts and Escheat obfuscation. This is pure BS. If you fully understood this sort of crap it never would have happend to you in the first place. Get ready for Monday when the Tribune will do something outrageous to protect "not you" but the high roller.

By: Anonymous on 5/10/08

B106-06 Desert Hot Springs

Dear Michael,

I received your letter dated May 6, 2008, in which you describe the change of heart Ms. Guth had regarding your property, What you may not know is she had a meeting with some of the investors on this property and we were polled on how we felt about your proposal.

Our feedback to Karen was; what is this borrower thinking? He wants us to subordinate our loan to another first trust deed and take no interest until he decides to sell the property. Does he think we are dense? Who would trade a first position trust deed to subordinate to who knows what, for how long?

You may not be aware of the current position of the title companies in this marketplace but no one will insure unless there is 100% signed agreement from all the fractionalized note holders. The old 51% rule is out the window, so even though you have found a new lender to place the first on the property they would never do it without title insurance. I know for absolute sure you will never get 100% agreement because I would not agree to give up my first position on this loan and give you an interest free ride until some future undetermined point in time that you decide to sell.

Now, had you asked us to subordinate and maybe start accruing interest at a rate somewhere in the 7% range, I and other knowledgeable investors may have been willing to work with you. But when I got to the end of your letter and you referred us to go to and scroll down and read the blogs of other investors I knew that you were not behaving in an honorable manner. ( The blog is largely a group of whiners that never read their agreements that said this type of loan was risky and thought a 12% interest rate was normal without risk) Estate Financial represents over 3000 investors and you see just a small percentage on this blog … that should tell you something. The knowledgeable and serious investors are trying to work out solutions that mitigate as much loss for all parties as is reasonably possible given the current market conditions. Stop placing blame where it clearly does not belong. EVERYONE of us is caught in this horrid cycle of a down real estate market and an unprecedented credit crunch. I'm sure Ms. Guth would have been in a position to extend further new financing for your project if the tide hadn't turned as it did. However, I doubt she had any contractual obligation to do so as a term of your original agreement. And here you are, the one in default crying wolf!

I've been in the real estate business for over 32 years. I've seen this kind of market come and go and I feel sorry for anyone who gets hurt due to the current downturn. I have many good friends both builder developers and investors that are chewing on substantial losses. But what I cannot stand is someone trying to push the blame on someone else to make themselves look good. You have lost all credibility in my opinion and I will contact other investors on this loan with me and share my impressions and thoughts with them.

Maybe you should rethink your position and bring something palpable to the table for this investor group to consider.

Sincerely, Gordon Hansen

By: Anonymous on 5/10/08

To We’ve Got Pay Pal,

Have you even been reading these blogs? If you have been then you would either think that Anonymous is a full blown schizophrenic or it might dawn on you that the name “Anonymous” appears automatically if someone doesn’t enter a name or handle. You sound like the same person who was upset that someone called Kelly a fat ass and you couldn’t understand our anger. Dah

By: Anonymous on 5/10/08

Good info to connect with the EFI victims.

Also, if anyone out there is having issues with Country Financial, Vanguard, Stinchfield-let us know what is going on. I am sure this situation is industry wide.

By: Anonymous on 5/10/08

The EFI investors are organizing and doing some real work to protect themselves. Go over to the blog called "UNDER THE MICROSCOPE". I would suggest that the Hurst investors begin to support each other and take some tips from the EFI groups.

By: Anonymous on 5/10/08

To the blogger calling himself we have pay pal. If we don't consider Insider and Anonymouse this blog still has 173 posts. Thats' one hell of a blog and there is plenty of readership. Yes there were personnal attacks. How could there not be? This is very personnal to a lot of people now isn't it?

By: Anonymous on 5/10/08

I heard the story from the woman in Cambria when Murray was on the radio. Was her name Rita? She was a widow with MS and all her money is now gone and Miller and Gearhart won't even return her calls. I'm wondering if Dan and Karen could follow up and do a story specifically about her?

I also wonder if it's possible for Atascadero to take back its "Citizen of the Year" award from Gearhart.

By: Anonymous on 5/10/08

To Dan and Karen

Apparently the Gearhearts,Guths,Hurst,Estate,Slow Bears and the like are not going to send you any money if people don't stop picking on them. I will and so should the people that have been helped be your undercover work. Apparently I've hurt the feelings of these pilars of the comunity. Basically there is only two types of individuals I have and will continue to bring to light. 1) Those who steal from others, particularly the elderly and 2) Those who make excuses for the thieves (Slowww Bear, Duedog, You Know Who) If you fall into one of those two catagories oh well. If you are an investor who wants to hope things are going to get better leaving this den of snakes in charge I am simply sugesting I don't think so. I can see I've really gotten to the Gearhart Cheerleaders and that just makes me smile. I know I blogged excessively when Gearhart had his people jamming the blog with his future standing for Sainthood and what a genious he was at that time it was necessarry to take a stand. Good luck to all investors. Don't let up.

By: Anonymous on 5/10/08

I agree with hot dog. I have been collecting disgruntled investors for weeks. For those who won't post their own email you can e me:

By: Anonymous on 5/9/08

Its true there is a lot of trash on the blogs. Dan has pointed out this is a free wheeling gig and if he starts to fiddle with it there might be no end.

I appeal to all who want to make this work, keep your comments on issue-education and the goal of getting our money back. We don't want to sink Hurst, there is nothing wrong with the industry (other than the brokers not doing their job).

Give to UncoveredSLO!!!!! They have been working for nothing. Just look at what they have done for us. Many of us might recover hundreds of $k, some up to a million. You can surely pop for a c note or more to support a free press.

Do it now, I have.

There are reports that Hurst is sweating it big time, and might actually be doing their job after all this time. Keep up the pressure but don't drive them out of town!

And those of you who have a gripe and want to bond with others, post your email, the active groups will be in touch.

By: Anonymous on 5/9/08

My question is why? Do people actually pay to support this site?

After reading some of the post on this website I cannot believe that you would let someone post with blatant disrespect towards others! Does anyone censor this site?

As for the 210 comments on your recent posting it ended as this is written at 258. Close to 100 of them were from two people, Insider and Anonymous I don't believe that to be real readership!You should be so proud and so should your sponcers for I will not support either!!!

By: Anonymous on 5/9/08

to bad boy

It appears my work here is done. The emperor has no clothes. Now thats a disturbing picture.

By: Anonymous on 5/9/08

Poor insider no one wants to play today . maybe you should go outside ! O I forgot you will burn up in the sun you slug.

By: Anonymous on 5/9/08


That is supposedly the job of the financial company. That’s why they are paid a percentage of the loan. Some of us have to much trust! It’s to bad.

By: Anonymous on 5/9/08

to Not a Stupid Investor

Your right. Slowww Bear is still the same idiot he was yesterday and the day before. The only mistake you made was to trust these guys which on face value seems reasonable. This will change this industry forever. Not only do you need to pick a good lender and contractor you need to watch them quite closely from close of escrow to each step of construction. We are not talking about someone who didn't have every nail in the drywall before getting a draw. We are talking about someone who got all thier money without lifting a finger.

By: Anonymous on 5/9/08

The Tribune won't cover this story because they were actually instumental in Kelly gaining more investment funds. They wrote an article about his great project (based solely on what kelly tod them). Then he sent investors a letter and attached a copy of the Tribune article as if it was proff. The Tribune even had a phony picture of his project in the article. They are really something else. There is absolute proff via Jay's own e-mails that the funds were provided up front and there has been no reasonable performance on the projects.

By: Anonymous on 5/9/08

To all those that know nothing about how construction loans work educate yourselves and read this. I am heavily invested into the Hurst / Gearhart deals to the tune of over $900,000. To those of you who think I am crazy or stupid you need to see this through an investor’s eye. I will try to explain this in laymen terms for those of you with half a brain (which has been proven by the blogs) will understand.

I have been doing construction loans for years in the central valley. When I moved to the central coast I looked for investments here:

1) Find lending Institute and contractor hense Hurst / Gearhart well over 20 years in business. Sounds good!

2) Talk to the title company. Escrow officer told me that she handled Hurst loans for over 7 years and had only 1 foreclosure and that when she and her husband had extra money they would invest with Hurst. WONDERFUL!

3) Get loan proposal.

Appraisal: $1,000,000

Loan Amount: $650,000.

Loan to value ratio: 65%

This means if project drops 35% of appraised value I am still covered. If it drops lower I lose that amount. That’s the RISK FACTOR. At 12% interest this means I am getting 1% of my investment back each month in the way of interest so in a 24 month loan I have collected 24% of my investment.

4) Lending institute: They hold the money in an account. As work is completed they cut checks to pay for that work. SO your money is always accounted for and the value is there.

5) When job is complete and project is sold, if the market drops more than 35% you lose. But you still have to factor in the 24% of your investment you have collected in the way of interest. So you can see this is really not high risk at all. You should at the very least get back your investment in the sale and interest collected. To further cover myself I spread my money over 12 loans so that if a loan were to go bad I would have the other 11 to fall back on. So where’s the risk? Investors are not stupid. There is only a risk if the people you are dealing with are not playing by the rules and doing things illegally. Now do you understand?

By: Anonymous on 5/9/08

How come the Tribune wont cover this story…maybe because there are no solid facts….its all hearsay. Even Murray Powell said with a bunch of his facts last night "I dont know if this is a fact, its second hand" blah blah blah

By: Anonymous on 5/9/08

I hope Congelton is paying something for all the free publicity he gets on this site! Just kidding, Dave. Thanks for givng airtime to this issue. Maybe now the Fibune will get involved.

By: Anonymous on 5/9/08

Is SLOBEAR Dave Congalton in disguise?

Dave is hiding under his desk. Just wondering

By: Anonymous on 5/9/08

The legal axe will fall on all the troublemakers very soon.

By: Anonymous on 5/9/08

First – I only post under my screen name – there is no need to change it since it is already anonymous. And, I did not call in to Dave' show.

Second – after listening to the podcasts, it is quite clear that Gearhart's only defense tactic is to deny and intimidate (telling a caller to "man-up" should tell you everything you need to know about this guy). As for Powell, he was calm, cool, and most importantly unemotional. Emotion and business do not mix.

Third – fraud is definitely part of investment risk. Why do you thing a highly regulated, FDIC-insured bank only has to pay out 2-3% on deposits? Even if fraud is committed, you get your money back (up to $100K). Why do the North County cowboys (Hurst, EFI, 21st Century) have to pay 12-14% to entice deposits? Fraud can be a major reason for default and with hard-money, here is no fraud insurance – and that requires risk premium (higher interest rates).

By: Anonymous on 5/9/08

hot dog:

Thanks for the insight and truth. Some of you out there are so ignorant you don't know the difference between Investment Risk and Fraud. These people did not lose their money to Investment Risk under any stretch of the imagination.

By: Anonymous on 5/9/08

tick tock tick tock

Where are you now Kelly? In the Bear lair, the dewdogs, house, or maybe the Peabody Plumb moving van. Look at it this way your still free and you have almost made it to the weekend.

By: Anonymous on 5/9/08

to Enlightened

Drop the bull. Kelly Gearhart did just what you no growthers proclaim to want. Don't try to put this as a political thing. You guys want small shops. You got em. Now fil em.

By: Anonymous on 5/9/08


Your a idiot. Your analysis of people, politics and why people support certain veiwpoints is absurd. Pack up your no growth crap and head off. Kelly Gearhart in his effort to keep his cash cow churning built the type of crap the planners and your no growth canidates want so bad. A bunch of tiny little shop type buildings where your

"boutique" buisness and small shops can be. He alson built some of the smallest crapiest houseing in the county. So he is your teams perfect builder. Now you got what you wanted. Unfourtunatly while he was building the type of stuff you guys proclaim to want he ripped off seniors and retired people since no bank would have OK'd this crap. So back off and let this town get a real project down at del rio and when Ellen "the turtle" Bereau and "Smokey the Bear" Brenler want to talk about boutique shops pleas let them know about the 100's of vacancies of the Gearhart dog houses that are on every buildable sliver of land in Atascadero.

By: Anonymous on 5/9/08


I'll answer that question for you about Murray, his son and how the business worked.

His son worked in the Reverse Mortgage end, totally separate from the TD business. I think the same is true for Allan, from Texas, who worked for Jay. Both these guys feel, since they had a bit of a personal connection, that they were ripped off by the supposed Ponzi scheme most think this deal was.

Of course everything was fine for awhile, they always are. But eventually things fall apart, as we see now.

By the way, I know of some hot shot realtors who were duped by this stuff. It is cruel and a waste of time to even think about how nutty the victims were or are. They were ripped off, their money was not allocated to the intended purpose in the intended way. When they asked questions the door was slammed in their face.

By: Anonymous on 5/9/08

Todd- Your right and Hurst Financial had been contributing to certain CC member election campaigns. I'd say this was a Major CONFLICT OF INTEREST. No wonder so many rules were over looked and Kelly got such good deals over other contractors. This explains all the excess building that wenet on and lot splits etc.

By: Anonymous on 5/9/08

Mr. Powell, if you are bloging here, I have a question, don't take this the wrong way, I honestly don't mean for it to sound bad, I'm just trying to gather as much information as possible right now. You said at the beginning of the radio show that your son worked for Mr. Miller, had a close relationship with the business, knew how these guys worked and how they did their loans, if you knew all this information why did you still want to invest? I invested because I was refered by a close friend who had also been a long time investor and had no clue how it all worked.

By: Anonymous on 5/9/08

Was Murray so boring that everyone got drunk last night? Maybe it's because he was so good but it looks like a lot of people had a lot of cocktails and got on the blog. Insider passed out around 9:05 and then it was a free for all!

By: Anonymous on 5/9/08

Dan & Karen! Thank you for not caving in on this topic!

Congalton was used like a rented donkey by Kelly!

We need you more than ever now! Keep up the good work!

By: Anonymous on 5/8/08

I never understood why there were two distinct factions in Atascadero. The low/slow growth open space champions against a development community. Now I get it entirely. The developers had a large support group because there were many investors with funds tied to projects and real estate in general. It was all about building if folks were going to get their 14% and making more loans. It encompassed alot of local citizens and they were all shaking hands and back patting each other. I bet 99% of the people on this site voted for people like Scalise, Nimo & O'Malley to name a few. Everyone and anyone who was into supporting construction.