Divorce allows peek between EFI’s sheets

August 16, 2008

By DANIEL BLACKBURN and KAREN VELIE

It took an acrimonious divorce and a protracted asset scrap to finally address the big question for investors in Paso Robles’ Estate Financial Inc.: Where did their money go?

Now, EFI principal Karen Guth has answered at least part of that question in the midst of her contentious court battle over marital assets with ex-husband and former partner, Charlie Applebaum. By her own admission, Guth utilized hundreds of thousands of dollars in investor money to capitalize her personal holdings.

Guth disclosed to the courts that she spent EFI funds to cover expenses for at least two family businesses over a period of at least three years, according to court documents.

Utilizing a number of hard money strategies, EFI principals Guth and her son, Joshua Yaguda, enticed more than 3,000 investors to place more than $300 million with the promise of high interest through secured construction investments. But for months, numerous sources have been alleging that Guth utilized funds for project construction to pay for a number of outside business interests she operated while at the helm of EFI.

The Guth-Applebaum drama continued recently when the pair engaged in a litigious battle over a $100,000 reimbursement check from the state for chemical cleanup of two service stations known as Templeton Products Inc. Guth told the court she wanted to use the check to cover some of the $760,000 in “advances” EFI has made to fund the service stations.

Templeton Products still owes $300,000 to $550,000 to EFI for those advances. Guth acknowledged June 24 in papers submitted to San Luis Obispo Superior Court that she made the cash advances between 2004 and 2007. By designating the monetary payments from EFI to Templeton Products “advances,” they became, in effect, non-interest-bearing loans.

“As is her style, she runs Templeton Products any way she sees fit, regardless of formalities and corporate law,” Applebaum claimed in sworn testimony.

Investigations by UncoveredSLO.com suggest that Guth wrote checks from EFI accounts for insurance payments, merchandise, and employees’ salaries for her Pasolivo Olive company.

The Guth court papers also put the spotlight on a practice of many local banks, that of loaning millions of dollars to local hard money lenders without securing the debt with borrowers’ assets.

Guth employed Templeton Products to secure a previously unsecured $5 million Heritage Oaks Bank loan, according to court records.

“Incredibly… she mortgaged both properties to the hilt,” Applebaum reported in sworn testimony. “By placing these liens against the gas stations, the gas stations are now grossly over encumbered.”

Applebaum claims officials at Heritage Oaks Bank authorized the loaning of millions of dollars to his ex-wife on property he owns without his knowledge or consent.

“The transaction came as a complete shock to me as I was in direct communication with Heritage Oaks Bank,” Applebaum asserted in sworn testimony.”

Heritage Oak Bank officials did not respond to numerous requests for comment.

“The bank is saying, as long as it is a corporate resolution, the lien is good,” said Gregory Abel, Applebaum’s attorney. “Hopefully, we have found responsible people at Heritage Oaks Bank willing to work together so that Mr. Applebaum is not personally adversely affected by the liens.”

Guth claimed she agreed to place the lien on her portion of Templeton Products following a request from Heritage Oaks Bank to secure an already funded personal loan. Applebaum’s interest in the property is not impacted by the agreement, she told the court.

Heritage Oaks Bank has doled out at least $15 million in loans to Guth. The bank secured a loan for $4.8 million through a lien on a Guth and Applebaum commercial property on Ninth Street in Paso Robles; and a second lien for $5.9 million on Guth and Yaguda’s Pasolivo olive ranch.

Applebaum and Guth purchased the Paso Robles hard money lending company in 1994 and divorced in 2004. Their bitter battle over personal assets became public when the company fell on hard times, along with 3,000 of its investors and a legion of creditors. EFI now finds itself in bankruptcy and its remaining officers, Guth and her son, Joshua Yaguda, under the critical gaze of regulators.

Early in June, creditors forced EFI into involuntary Chapter 11 bankruptcy proceedings. About a week later, EFI owners Karen Guth and Joshua Yaguda voluntarily placed EFI’s mortgage fund into Chapter 11. The state Department of Real Estate (DRE) has suspended EFI’s permits and has publicly alleged that many of EFI’s practices were fraudulent. Guth and Yaguda are being investigated by a host of state agencies and federal and local law enforcement.

Even as the lending business began to self-destruct under pressure from worried investors and a legion of creditors, and with bankruptcy actions proceeding, Guth appeared to be transferring properties and other assets in a helter-skelter fashion.

Concern by investors and creditors now may have been partially addressed by state actions which have had the effect of icing any business that can be conducted by EFI.


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Stefan

By: Anonymous on 8/22/08

of the very best. Of course, it might not be to your liking.

By: Anonymous on 8/22/08

Olive Oil Tasting in the Paso Robles Park tomorrow! Meet you at the Pasolivo booth – let's all give a big "hello" to Karen and Josh. See you there!

By: Anonymous on 8/22/08

Does anyone know how to go about finding the numerous LLC's that Karen has? Is there a central agency where they can be accessed? I am curious to know what Karen's personal LLC holdings are. I know she has apartment buildings, houses, raw land and businesses under various holding companies but would like to be able to find them all.

By: Anonymous on 8/22/08

Warren Buffet: "You only see who has been swimming naked when the tide goes out"

By: Anonymous on 8/22/08

Headline: Tribune trumps uncoveredSLO on Gearhart update. Powell/Rios request receivership on one of Gearharts many partnerships Morro Road Homes Corp in todays issue in the local secton. Sept. 16 court date. Good job Dan & Karen you put a bug up their butt.

By: Anonymous on 8/21/08

I've heard that Heritage Oaks Bank holds notes of more than $20 Million on Karen's properties – two gas stations, the EFI office building, and the olive ranh. The question remains as to what did Karen do with the $20 miliion and who at HOB autorized the loan which is clearly over and above the value of the 4 properties. Deep pockets perhaps? Let's hope the trustees are on top of this and research K and J's persopnal assets as well as the culpability of HOB. No fire sale please.

By: Anonymous on 8/21/08

Does anyone know what has happened to the misguided employees of heritage oaks bank, and note to stockholders, SELL, SELL, SELL, or you could be like EFI investors soon, own something worth less than what u paid for it. another david weyrick failure in this county, beware people what that man touches will end up burning you bad in the long run. shame on heritage oaks bank for involving themselves in this whole fraudulent scheme Karen has going, looks like there may be office buildings, olive oil business, gas station mini marts, and an estate on vineyard drive on the chopping forclosure block real soon. Hum could be interesting to see how much they get back on the $, looks like maybe just pennies, run account holders, get out now before your money in this bank is gone too,

By: Anonymous on 8/21/08

OMG I cant believe that they have had to resort to walmart, next time you see them there take a pic from your camera phone, at least we know there funds have been frozen too. I once remember hearing Karen & Josh both say that they never have and never would lowere themselves to shop walmart, guess when u are a thief and get caught walmart seems more suitable than commesary at the state prison, probably they are just preparing themselves for those shopping days by starting slowly at walmart. LMAO this is the start of their demise. Make sure someone gets a picture of that the next time, would love to post that and humiliate them in the press. They gonna think walmart is saks fifth avenue compared to prison commesary once they get there.


Stefan

By: Anonymous on 8/21/08

WalMart huh. Probably thought none of you would be in WalMart. I guess they forgot they took all your money and you need those low prices too.

By: Anonymous on 8/21/08

I saw them in Walmart (another reason to hate them!) the other day…don't think they have left county as yet.

By: Anonymous on 8/20/08

Anonymous says:


Just a quick question. Have the powers that be taken possession of Karen & Josh's passports? I believe Karen has a villa in italy if she disappears, in case anyone might wonder where she would go.


No one can take their passports unless their is criminal charge filed a flight risk estabiished. Until then, its only a speculation.


If she goes to Italy, she'll be back before you know it. South America is a better choice for hiding.

By: Anonymous on 8/20/08

To Linda Kennedy:


I can't believe you would even pop up on this, or any other blog…we'll find you, AND your millions that belong to the INVESTORS you deceived, and you'll find yourself back in CA for trial!!!!

By: Anonymous on 8/20/08

Just a quick question. Have the powers that be taken possession of Karen & Josh's passports? I believe Karen has a villa in italy if she disappears, in case anyone might wonder where she would go.

By: Anonymous on 8/20/08

I recieved a phone call last nite from "Claire". She is an accountant working for the trustees. She called to tell me that a request for share disrtibution (not liquidation) due to an investor's death would not be honored…wasn't honored by Karen or Josh either, even though the request was made 12 months ago. Anyway, she said they had not enough time to distribute the shares.


I then asked for a stsus on a 1st TD I hold. She looked it up, said I had a 28% share. I asked for the names of the other investors and the APN…she said she had thatinfobut refused to give it me , said I would have to research it at the county.


Yeah, new managers, same old shit

By: Anonymous on 8/19/08

It's a crime for Karen to lie at her own BK hearing but remember, she's facing significant prison time that could exceed the rest of her life. So the question is "Why wouldn't she lie?"

By: Anonymous on 8/19/08

If the personal bankruptcy of Karen Guth is suspect, we should get back to work and post on this site all real estate holdings of Karen Guth. Anyone who has evidence, even hearsay, of Karen transferring property to hide assets should post. There's many ways assets can be hidden during the BK process and many times debtors lie about their holdings. Property can be hidden in a trust or other peoples names. Post what you know. This will benefit all including the trustees!


Stefan

By: Anonymous on 8/19/08

Last night I received a phone call from a representative of Bradley Sharp's office… something that all investors at E.F. will receive in the days and weeks to come…

This person asked questions… I answered as best I could…

"Jim… you are not alone… the conversations I am having are all similar… only the amounts of $$$ differs…

There is no $$$ (at this time) to finish projects started (but not completed)… so this is going to take quite a bit of time (years) to maximize returns to investors"…

I was also told that "this is not going away… as the F.B.I. and the District Attorney of S.L.O. are still gathering information"…


By: Anonymous on 8/19/08

Bankrupt says:


That's probably a given. If you can't pay your bills, you're bankrupt.


Or if one is being chased by angry creditors. Upside to all of that? She will have to list all her assets, interest in any investments property under different names including foreign holdings, cash, jewelry furniture etc.

With so many people eagerly scouring everything surrounds her, Likely she'll slip up. FBI investigates Bankruptcy fraud.


Good luck Karen hiding!

By: Anonymous on 8/18/08

That's probably a given. If you can't pay your bills, you're bankrupt.

By: Anonymous on 8/18/08

When will Karen file for personal Bankruptcy?

By: Anonymous on 8/18/08

Well, anything's possible I suppose. I guess we're all going to have to be patient to wait for the truth to come out.

By: Anonymous on 8/18/08

It appears clear to me that Karen is liquidating all her assets. Yep, I think she's hiding her money. Some of you may be shaking your heads no but money can be converted to precious stones, gold, and other items that can be hidden and retrieved after she and Joshua leave prison. And then they are set for life.

By: Anonymous on 8/18/08

Well, that pretty much sums it up Jim. This blog is nothing but garbage. Sorry for everyone trying to find a serious discussion here. Clearly, this is not the place. And as for this article, it just raises more questions than it answers. So K was borrowing against all of her assets in order to make them worthless so that nobody would gain anything from taking them in a civil suit. Is that the best you can do? Serious reality check time.


I know where the money is. There's a chicken coop out behind the Pasolivos building on K's property. I think the money is buried under the chicken coop. I'll meet you out there this afternoon. You bring the shovels and the buckets.


Seriously, is there no better source of information than the chatter being exchanged on this blog? And don't go telling me I'm an ignorant slut just for asking. You can kick your own dog, if you want.

By: Anonymous on 8/18/08

Don't be mad, Karen.

By: Anonymous on 8/18/08

FYI, Nowe that RW Hertel is in deep trouble with banks, investors and the state his parnter Robert JS Fowler has just filed a homestead on 6180 Pozo Rd., Santa Margarita, CA APN # 070-132-08 under fraud to conceal his assets from the courts and creditors.. be advised indictments are coming


Stefan

By: Anonymous on 8/18/08

Does anyone know why Lauras truck is parked outside the back door at EFI?

By: Anonymous on 8/18/08

At the end of 2009… I had the opportunity to visit Karen Guth at a women's prison in California…

During our conversation… she shared with me… that she had received her undergraduate degree in Criminal Justice… "and just look at me now" she sighed…

I asked her how things were going for her here at the prison and she replied "well… I don't seem to be able to borrow money from anyone these days"…

I asked her about the nights here… and she replied "Oh Jim… I just don't want to talk about it"…

Eventually the visit came to an end… and she was led back to her cell…

It was then that I heard her cell-mate shout out some of the intimacies that were in store for her that evening…

By: Anonymous on 8/18/08

Does anyone know how Mel may be co-conspiracor? He helped string along many investors. What did he do that was possibly criminal?

By: Anonymous on 8/18/08

Same judge


Added comfort for investors;

LECG T Jeremiassen is the same firm that handled the Slatkin case.

By: Anonymous on 8/18/08

Anonymous

Can someone explain how Mel from EFI can be alleged as a co-conspiracor?


Unless he received payments for his efforts directly related to bringing in new investors, or if he invested and was paid ahead of anyone else, he would not be responsible. Listening to a slimball and placing bets on it is stupidity on investors part

By: Anonymous on 8/18/08

Another interesting tidbit on the Slatkin case, EFI's judge, Robin Riblet, was the BK judge for Slatkin.


She approved the trustees request to go after investors who received more than they invested to help newer investors recover more. Ended up at about 40 percent.

By: Anonymous on 8/18/08

Can someone explain how Mel from EFI can be alleged as a co-conspiracor? He strung along many investors. What did he do that was potentially criminal?

By: Anonymous on 8/18/08

I just wanna know about the reefer!

By: Anonymous on 8/17/08

I still want to know about the reefer smoking attorney.

By: Anonymous on 8/17/08

to fed up:


One of the most difficult thing for all of us is the waiting game. The authorities will not make an arrest unles and until thy have enough evidence. Wedon't want them to be hasty so Karen and Co. could get off on technicality.

Little more patience is in order.


Stefan

By: Anonymous on 8/17/08

to fed up:


If that is true, then why have there been no arrests? Tou truely are kidding yourself. All of these "crooks" are as free as you and me, the only difference is they have money and we are broke.

By: Anonymous on 8/17/08

The feds are taking white collar crime extremely seriously as of late. They have been making examples out of criminals like Miller, Gearhart, et al.

http://www.mortgagefraudblog.com/

By: Anonymous on 8/17/08

On May 1, 2001, under a barrage of civil lawsuits and threats by investors (some of whom now sit on the Committee) to file an involuntary bankruptcy petition, Slatkin filed a voluntary petition under Chapter 11 of the Bankruptcy Code. Shortly thereafter, the FBI and the IRS conducted raids authorized by search warrants on the homes and businesses of Slatkin, and the Ponzi carousel finally ground to a halt.

By: Anonymous on 8/17/08

The Trustee believes that creditor claims (investments net of payments) are approximately $255 million. Investors may have believed, however, based upon the statements they received from Slatkin, that their investor accounts had grown to approximately $778 million as of December 31, 2000.

On investor statements, the cumulative value of each year’s investment appreciation would be added to the principal and thus compounded. Thus, an unsuspecting investor who invested $500,000 with Slatkin and received an average return, at least according to the fraudulent investor statements, of 28% over four years would have believed that the original investment had ballooned from $500,000 to a $1,340,000 “nest egg.” In actuality, there was no such “nest egg,” because Slatkin had used the $500,000 investment to pay fictitious returns, to make unwise investments, and/or to pay his “consultants” and expenses.

By the end of 2000, the actual funds required to maintain Slatkin's hypothetical investment structure approximated $130 million annually. This was an unattainable sum because Slatkin had dissipated many millions of dollars that had been entrusted to him and he did not possess the funds required to generate this large return.


By: Anonymous on 8/17/08

The “select few,” approximately 75 persons in number, substantially profited from their financial arrangement with Slatkin. The total amount paid to these investors from 1986 to 2001, above and beyond their original investments, is in excess of $151 million or $2 million per investor. Slatkin paid these funds from commingled accounts, essentially using other investors’ money, and not profits actually earned on investments. A small number of Slatkin associates were also able to experience a financial windfall by acting as his “consultants.” Some of those “consultants” were paid millions of dollars for ill-defined services. The Trustee is investigating the recovery of these funds, which represent the greatest single expectation for any meaningful financial dividend to the unfortunate bulk of investors who did not share in Slatkin’s largesse. The Trustee has not initiated any litigation of any kind while he completes his investigation.


Estimates of creditors’ claims in this Estate have ranged from approximately $250 million to approximately $800 million. The cause for this wide disparity finds its genesis in the very nature of the Slatkin Ponzi scheme. Apparently, to persuade investors to retain their investments and often to invest additional funds, Slatkin completely fabricated monthly or quarterly statements for investors that reflected fictitious investments in securities and other assets and cash reserves, as well as a substantial appreciation from those investments. That phantom appreciation or investment gains ranged from an average annual return of 24% to as high as 100%. From 1986 to 2001, Slatkin reported approximately $700 million in bogus profits to investors, of which in excess of $600 million was falsely reported in the last seven years.

By: Anonymous on 8/17/08

Many of the approximately 800 Slatkin investors have experienced extreme personal and family economic hardship due to the loss of their investments, as well as the fact that many investors have informed the Trustee or the Committee that they dutifully reported and paid taxes on the profits which Slatkin listed on their respective investor statements, profits that were completely illusory.

The single most commonly asked question in this case has been what happened to the money? From 1986 to 2001, Slatkin received approximately $593 million from investors. He distributed approximately $535 million to investors. Of this $534 million, 75 investors received approximately $279 million, even though they had invested only $128 million, thereby realizing an excess return of approximately $151 million.

From his stock brokerage transfers, Slatkin realized a gain of approximately $65 million, the vast proportion of which resulted from sales of his Earthlink stock. Slatkin expended at least $88 million on various assets and investments, many of which are illiquid or valueless, and spent approximately $47 million in “operating” expenses, including taxes.


Stefan

By: Anonymous on 8/17/08

to fed up:


If that is true, then why have there been no arrests? Tou truely are kidding yourself. All of these "crooks" are as free as you and me, the only difference is they have money and we are broke.

By: Anonymous on 8/17/08

The feds are taking white collar crime extremely seriously as of late. They have been making examples out of criminals like Miller, Gearhart, et al.

http://www.mortgagefraudblog.com/

By: Anonymous on 8/17/08

On May 1, 2001, under a barrage of civil lawsuits and threats by investors (some of whom now sit on the Committee) to file an involuntary bankruptcy petition, Slatkin filed a voluntary petition under Chapter 11 of the Bankruptcy Code. Shortly thereafter, the FBI and the IRS conducted raids authorized by search warrants on the homes and businesses of Slatkin, and the Ponzi carousel finally ground to a halt.

By: Anonymous on 8/17/08

The Trustee believes that creditor claims (investments net of payments) are approximately $255 million. Investors may have believed, however, based upon the statements they received from Slatkin, that their investor accounts had grown to approximately $778 million as of December 31, 2000.

On investor statements, the cumulative value of each year’s investment appreciation would be added to the principal and thus compounded. Thus, an unsuspecting investor who invested $500,000 with Slatkin and received an average return, at least according to the fraudulent investor statements, of 28% over four years would have believed that the original investment had ballooned from $500,000 to a $1,340,000 “nest egg.” In actuality, there was no such “nest egg,” because Slatkin had used the $500,000 investment to pay fictitious returns, to make unwise investments, and/or to pay his “consultants” and expenses.

By the end of 2000, the actual funds required to maintain Slatkin's hypothetical investment structure approximated $130 million annually. This was an unattainable sum because Slatkin had dissipated many millions of dollars that had been entrusted to him and he did not possess the funds required to generate this large return.


By: Anonymous on 8/17/08

The “select few,” approximately 75 persons in number, substantially profited from their financial arrangement with Slatkin. The total amount paid to these investors from 1986 to 2001, above and beyond their original investments, is in excess of $151 million or $2 million per investor. Slatkin paid these funds from commingled accounts, essentially using other investors’ money, and not profits actually earned on investments. A small number of Slatkin associates were also able to experience a financial windfall by acting as his “consultants.” Some of those “consultants” were paid millions of dollars for ill-defined services. The Trustee is investigating the recovery of these funds, which represent the greatest single expectation for any meaningful financial dividend to the unfortunate bulk of investors who did not share in Slatkin’s largesse. The Trustee has not initiated any litigation of any kind while he completes his investigation.


Estimates of creditors’ claims in this Estate have ranged from approximately $250 million to approximately $800 million. The cause for this wide disparity finds its genesis in the very nature of the Slatkin Ponzi scheme. Apparently, to persuade investors to retain their investments and often to invest additional funds, Slatkin completely fabricated monthly or quarterly statements for investors that reflected fictitious investments in securities and other assets and cash reserves, as well as a substantial appreciation from those investments. That phantom appreciation or investment gains ranged from an average annual return of 24% to as high as 100%. From 1986 to 2001, Slatkin reported approximately $700 million in bogus profits to investors, of which in excess of $600 million was falsely reported in the last seven years.

By: Anonymous on 8/17/08

Many of the approximately 800 Slatkin investors have experienced extreme personal and family economic hardship due to the loss of their investments, as well as the fact that many investors have informed the Trustee or the Committee that they dutifully reported and paid taxes on the profits which Slatkin listed on their respective investor statements, profits that were completely illusory.

The single most commonly asked question in this case has been what happened to the money? From 1986 to 2001, Slatkin received approximately $593 million from investors. He distributed approximately $535 million to investors. Of this $534 million, 75 investors received approximately $279 million, even though they had invested only $128 million, thereby realizing an excess return of approximately $151 million.

From his stock brokerage transfers, Slatkin realized a gain of approximately $65 million, the vast proportion of which resulted from sales of his Earthlink stock. Slatkin expended at least $88 million on various assets and investments, many of which are illiquid or valueless, and spent approximately $47 million in “operating” expenses, including taxes.


Stefan

By: Anonymous on 8/17/08

The Trustee and the Committee believe that an objective review of most of the investments remaining in the Estate compels the conclusion that Slatkin’s opportune investment in Earthlink was an aberration. It is apparent that many millions of dollars that Slatkin told investors he had wisely invested in business ventures (for the most part allegedly in publically traded securities) capable of providing meaningful return have, in fact, been lost in a financial black hole. When viewing Slatkin’s entire remaining portfolio of publicly traded securities, an experienced financial investment counselor with a national investment advisory firm described the remaining portfolio as “the worst I have ever seen in all of my years of experience.”

By: Anonymous on 8/17/08

I do think 3,000 investors and $300 million is a reason for lots of goverment agencies to be involved. At least I would hope so. Though the discourd in the mud hole does not beg for the same examination.

By: Anonymous on 8/17/08

Slatkin’s fraudulent scheme was not a recent development precipitated by the current financial slowdown or the collapse of the dot.com or high-tech bubble. Rather, it was a carefully orchestrated charade extending as far back as 1986. Predictably, and inevitably, the Ponzi scheme grew geometrically in the later years requiring an ever increasing flow of cash from investors to maintain the illusion of Slatkin's unattainable financial promises. Ultimately, Slatkin’s scheme collapsed amidst lawsuits from concerned investors, government inquiries, and criminal investigations.

While holding himself out to be a highly skilled investment counselor, Slatkin’s actual financial and investment skill ranged from unspectacular to dismal until he made a serendipitous investment as one of the founding investors in Earthlink. Ex. 1 [1] (Slatkin Depo., p. 146). That single successful investment in Earthlink propelled Slatkin to a new level of theretofore unattainable credibility. Slatkin used that credibility as a further inducement to investors and he was able to rapidly and aggressively expand the funds under his control, most of which were quickly dissipated.


By: Anonymous on 8/17/08

SEE IF YOU FIND ANY SIMILARITIES.


BROKEN DOWN FOR EASIER READING


Slatkin appears to have conceived and nurtured a perception or aura that he was a financial wunderkind who graciously bestowed his investment wisdom upon an exclusive and dutifully grateful constituency. In actuality, Slatkin conceived, executed, and perpetrated a massive multi-year fraud on his investors, using funds from new investors to pay inflated and false returns to other and older investors, while wasting tens of millions of dollars on ill-conceived and disastrous investments and paying staggering sums to certain associates and consultants. Slatkin sought investors’ funds with the full knowledge that he would be incapable of providing those returns and that the invested funds would quickly disappear into the ever expanding vortex of his fraudulent Ponzi scheme. “Generically, a Ponzi scheme is a phony investment plan in which monies paid by later investors are used to pay artificially high returns to the initial investors, with the goal of attracting more investors.” In re Bonham, 299 F.3d 750, 750 n. 1 (9th Cir. 2000).

By: Anonymous on 8/17/08

I can assure you that the FBI is still conducting a "full time" investigation in this county. NO they don't have better things to do. It's about as good as it gets here. You obviously haven't been interviewed by them. Thats good for you.

By: Anonymous on 8/17/08

That's Enough! If I read one more time that the FBI are here investigating Hurst, EFI, Atascadero City, I think I'm going to vomit!! Don't you all think that the FBI has more important things to do?!? I certainly hope so. Some delusional person even posted that the FBI reads this blog! (not dissing the Blog, just saying the FBI must have better things to do) Stay on the local authorities to take care of things. . .


Stefan

By: Anonymous on 8/17/08

Oh, Insider, you are assuming that the state has any money.

They will have to raise our taxes more to get this job done.

By: Anonymous on 8/17/08

If what you say is true the DA's office should withdraw itself and turn this over to the State District Attorney at once.

By: Anonymous on 8/17/08

What about the FBI? Aren't they looking into this? I know they are here in the county investigating several issues of corruption.

By: Anonymous on 8/17/08

Mike Knecht and Michael K are not the same person. This is a coincidence that we are both named Mike and our last names begin with K.

Sorry about that Mr. Knecht

By: Anonymous on 8/17/08

This all gets a lot deeper than you know. At a risk of sounding like a tin hat conspiracy theorist I'll drop a little bomb on you. A high level servant and and his relative in the DA's office are tied into the Hurst Financial (Kelly Gearhart funds)fraud. If the DA goes after EFI he will have no excuse not to go after Hurst.

By: Anonymous on 8/17/08

No one should put any creditbility on Mike Knecht statements. Sounds like someone from the other side trying to get the investors to back off. They want the investors to throw up the arms and just leave.

Stay after them, do not give them any room to breath.

By: Anonymous on 8/17/08

So thats how it is prosecute the petty criminals because its easy and let someone who has posibly extorted hundreds of millions off the hook because your budget wont support it. Somethings wrong. How much is a murder prosecution cost. How about child abuse. Or for that matter Child sexual abuse should we start doing a cost benifit on each of those? Sounds like they have enough evidence to proceed now. Sure they may not have everything but they probably have enough to get some jail time a fellony conviction and whatever money they have back to the investors.

By: Anonymous on 8/17/08

I told Karen this would happen. That is why I closed 21st Century Mortgage in 2007. Took the millions I retained, and moved to San Rafael, Costa Rica last year.

By: Anonymous on 8/17/08

Since when did the decision to initiate criminal investigations become dependant upon the results of a cost vs. benefit analysis?

By: Anonymous on 8/17/08

Mike Knecht


With all due respect to the DA, he was aware many of the problems surronding EFI and Karen way before most investors. His inaction contributed to the current problems. The gas stations were not encumbered until last December. The Ranch was not encumbered until not too recently. Heritage Oaks Bank was aware of EFI's problems and they still over encumbered all properties includig the office bldg on 9 th. street (not worth the loan on it) the Ranch (not worth the loan on it and the stations not worth the loan on them.


The bank must have a good explanation why they extended so much credit to one individual that is against regulation. Banks can only lend so much of their capital to one borrower regardless what names it is under.


I beleive the bank is not only under with their loans, but kowingly aided Karen in her (alleged criminal) activities.


Stefan

By: Anonymous on 8/17/08

I heard a rumor that the San Luis Obispo District Attorney doesn’t feel his office has the money available to conduct a complete forensic accounting of Estate Financial to determine the extent of Karen Guth’s violation of the law.


I feel for the guy. Karen has moved so much money around she probably doesn’t remember where it all went. If you don’t understand why it is significant that Karen over encumbered the properties, it works like this. She owns a forty acre, award winning olive ranch. If it can be proved that she used investor money from Estate Financial to develop and pay for her olive ranch, then the investors can sue and get the ranch or service stations or rentals or what ever back. However, if she has borrowed more money than what these properties are worth, then the investors can have the ranch and what ever else. It has no value because the debt against it is too great.


If the DA figures it costs too much money to investigate what happened to the proceeds of the loan on the olive oil ranch then Karen gets off scot free.


Where did the money go? If I was Karen, that is to say if I was completely free of moral restraint, I would have started putting some money into off shore accounts about 2004, when I saw things weren’t going to work out. The worse things got the more money I would have sent out of the country. A day before the indictment came down I would drive to Vegas and get on a plane and head for parts unknown. It will be interesting to see if I am right. If I am right, the reluctance of local law enforcement to step in quickly enough to have stopped her will play a big part in Karen’s successful evasion of any consequences.

By: Anonymous on 8/16/08

Some creditors listed on EFMF (unsecured creditor list) work for Karen's divorce proceedings and representation as lately as June.

Would that constitute business expense to be paid by investors?

By: Anonymous on 8/16/08

Just when you think the mud is all done, there's a pile of $h!% to run her through! Am I reading this right? Is the boy going away with mommy dearest or will she be warming the seat up for him?

By: Anonymous on 8/16/08

Karen & Dan, Thank You for the new info and update. I hope you'll be doing a Hurst update soon.

By: Anonymous on 8/16/08

To Yes,

Divorce records are an excellent source to information. This has nothing to do with smut and drama. I can see that you haven't lost any money with Guth and EFI. If Karen and Dan were into smut they would tell everyone what Karen caught Charlie doing in the office that started the divorce. You really are something else. If you don't like this site don't read it.

By: Anonymous on 8/16/08

More smut and drama. If it couldn't get jucier, throw a divorce into the mix.

By: Anonymous on 8/16/08

So why isn't Karen Guth in jail?

By: Anonymous on 8/16/08

This is just so egregious. I invested funds and Karen took my investment and loaned it to herself interest free! I'm just furious, that just can't be legal.

By: Anonymous on 8/16/08

As an investor with EFI, and all of my trust deeds in either forebearance or foreclosure for one year now, can I file with the Bankruptcy Court as a "CREDITOR" to recover my lost interst earnings?


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