Judge ices EFI fund property sale proceeds

August 6, 2008


A federal judge presiding over Estate Financial Inc. (EFI) bankruptcy hearings declined Tuesday to authorize disbursement of funds from a pending sale of investment property from the troubled lender’s portfolio.

U.S. District Court Judge Robin Riblet instead ordered proceeds from the sale placed in a segregated account to allow trustees time to weed through a mountain of documents.

The Paso Robles lender’s corporation and investment fund have been placed in voluntary and involuntary bankruptcies.

A group of investors had asked Riblet to disburse the proceeds of the Base View Court Estates project in San Marcos, currently in escrow. Thomas Jeremiassen, the trustee of Estate Financial Inc. (EFI), however, asked the judge to delay distributing the funds.

Riblet, on vacation in Canada and speaking to attorneys by telephone, agreed with Jeremiassen, who was appointed to manage the trust only nine days earlier. At the same time, Riblet appointed Bradley Sharp to watch over the Estate Financial Mortgage Fund.

“It is like an orderly liquidation,” said Steve Gardility of Encinitas, a builder who did significant business with Guth. “It is a better chance to get money back than a Chapter 7. She (Judge Riblet) had the records and knew the subject; she is sharp.”

Utilizing a number of hard money strategies, EFI principals Karen Guth and Joshua Yaguda enticed investors with the promise of high interest on their investments, which funded short term construction loans. Last fall, the company stopped making interest payments, and Guth and Yaguda blamed a downturn in the real estate market for catapulting EFI into a temporary financial funk.

More than 3,000 investors placed more than $300 million into EFI construction projects. Guth and Yaguda received a one- to two-percent monthly fee for fund management, along with mortgage servicing fees on the fractionalized loans. Sources claim the pair was using funds slated to build projects to fund other businesses they own.

While at the helm of EFI, Guth and Yaguda accumulated a wealth of holdings, including gas stations in Templeton and Morro Bay; a winery and Pasolivio Olive Ranch in Paso Robles; and numerous condominiums, homes, and commercial properties scattered throughout the county. They also own a stable of expensive automobiles.

Even during the bankruptcy proceedings, a bevy of regulatory agencies and criminal investigators continue to probe allegations that Guth and Yaguda misled investors and comingled funds in a Ponzi-style scheme.

Within the next few days, U.S. Trustee Marjorie Erickson is expected to announce approval of a creditor committee comprised of creditors and investors to serve as an advisory body to the trustees and the court.

“The committee will meet with the trustees, look at properties and their stages, and suggest which properties should be finished, and which to sell out,” Gardility said.

Gardility, along with Dennis Klassen, Arroyo Grande; Jordana Cooper, Calabasas; Jim Scott, Rancho Palos Verdes; and Andrew Berwick, Santa Barbara, have applied to the court for membership on the committee.

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By: Anonymous on 8/12/08


So the defaulters ate at the trough, mismanaged(to be polite) the money and now you think the lenders should give them more?

By: Anonymous on 8/12/08

Defaulters are not creditors

Borrowers had a contract with lender(investors included) and the contract was not performed according to the agreement. Lender(s) are in default of the contract and became liable to borrowers.

Investors are equity holders in the company therefore liable toward creditors claims. Consult with a BC attorney for further enlightment.

By: Anonymous on 8/12/08

Why not let them be on the defaulters committee

By: Anonymous on 8/12/08

Didn't they sue Estate for not performing and get a default judgement against Estate? That would make them a creditor.

By: Anonymous on 8/12/08

Can somebody explain how people who borrowed money can claim to be creditors? I don't get how Cooper or any other borrower has standing in the bankruptcy court.

By: Anonymous on 8/12/08

Why would I want Cooper and Gardality on a creditor's committee when they are two of the guys who owe me money. They and the other defaulters are the problem!

By: Anonymous on 8/11/08

Weren't you the guy who used to sell tractors?

By: Anonymous on 8/11/08

I can't believe the naiveness here. None of you can possibly be 'serious' investors in EFI. I first met Karen Guth around 1990; it took about 30 seconds for me to relegate her to 'slime' status. How could anyone give her a nickel to invest after meeting her?

By: Anonymous on 8/11/08

Hey Joe did you get a license yet?

By: Anonymous on 8/10/08

This is just a nasty, angry forum for people to rip on each other and tell you what they're going to do to somebody, whether they can prove anything or not. It's a childish thing, calling your neighbors names. The real problem with this site is that people on here just can't seem to act like adults. There's really nothing to it. This blog is worthless and the people who want to believe it is are just fooling themselves or worse. If the people who read this thing really care about getting accurate information, they'll look elsewhere. That goes for "Insider" and all the "anonymouses." Get a grip and then get a job.

By: Anonymous on 8/10/08

Idle minds are the devils worshop. Many of the posts on this thread support that thought.

As Rodney King said on the way to one of his many trips to the slammer, "can't we all just get along?"

By: Anonymous on 8/10/08


Congratulation, but cares? This is not a political campaign here. we have real issues!! Get it? Can he get us a few hundred MIl? If not leave us alone!!

By: Anonymous on 8/10/08

Joe you seem a little angry. Did someone step on your money purse?

By: Anonymous on 8/10/08

Joe Dirt

First of all, who cares about Gerhart.

Who cares about Phoenix Recovery,

Who cares about you

and who cares about people who lost money?

Some I do, but lets get something straight

You can have a business for anything without a license. Just hire the right people.

UncoverdSLO has the right and the fiduciary obligation to take money where it can. You haven't send them any, have You?

You cheap bastard!! You want something for nothing? Life just ain't so. When you do something, you expect to get paid. Do you know where that money comes from? Likely not and you still take it. How many times you check it out the sourec before you pick up your paychaeck. Do you care to know where that dividend check comes from? Absolutely not!! Do you care where that interest paymenmt on your CD comes from I don't think so.

Do you realize that someone had to pay a high interest on their loan to the bank before the bank is able to issue a check? You don't give a d..n at all as long as you get it.

So just get off your high padestal and supposed moral ground and get back to the subject.

If you can't than get out of here you jack a…ss

By: Anonymous on 8/10/08

to Joe Dirt

Gee Joe you seem to be real good at research. Yeah everything except the ability to determine the legality of contracting without a license.You can ruin Kelleys chance at City Council but you can't make it legal to contract without a license.

By: Anonymous on 8/10/08

To insider,baker, hey baker, anonymous, or should we say Bob Kelley. You are the perfect candidate!

1. gearharts best friend

2. revoked licensed contractor

3. three time loser

4. you will fit right in

This is joe dirt signing off, but will return some with more boulders such as Bob Kelley's disgraceful departure from the C.H.P.

By: Anonymous on 8/10/08

Pam Heatherington is running for Atascadero City Council.

Congradulations Atascadero. A true, honest, capable candidate has stepped up.

By: Anonymous on 8/10/08

to the editors

Here's what I'm talking about, see the quote below and the possible impression you may have left readers with. You might want to run the old standard that although they may be advertising on your sight that it should never be seen as an endorsement on your part. You know the old infomercial blah blah.

to insider

"If they are a construction management team, I do not think they need a license.

Also, are Dan and Karen supposed to investigate any one that advertises?"

By: Anonymous on 8/10/08

I am not Bob Kelley. Bob does not like some of the questions I've asked. You seem out to get him as some form of revenge. The Pheonix group is taking money from what I understand to manage the completion of construction on what looks like thirteen projects to date. I assume they are taking that money under contract. In other words they are not on the Owners payroll recieving a hourly fee with detuctions. The point is this relationship in at direct odds with the law. The law is meant to first of all protect consumers and this relationship is strickly to protect the investors/owners of the properties and financialy enrich the Pheonix Group. After they have gotten the people together and forclosed on the property why don't they just turn it over to the investors. Why because thats not where they see the big bucks. Trust me when I say there are many qualified licensed companys and individuals out their that would be more than happy to construction manage those projects. They now have thirteen when does this arangement get the scrutiny it deserves when they have one hundred and thirteen. I an LLC has these unlicesened individuals complete these projects who does the consumer have recourse against for the problems every new home has. No one is the answer since an LLC by definition has no liability and there is no licensed contractor. If Pheonix wants to participate in the completion of construction on these residences then Pheonix needs to be a licensed contractor. There is a process where they have a Responsible Managing Employee that has or gets a California Contractors License from the state. With that come rules about the employees level of supervision over the construction activities. Apparently the individual currently acting in this possition does not qualify. If he does they should get the license and all properties they work on should have them listed as contractor on the permit. These projects probably got where they are from people taking short cuts in life. This is just a matter of who gets their money not how much money it costs. A general contractor could step in and write a managment contract and do the same service for the same price. The only difference is it would be legal and most likely the issues regarding liability would be deliniated and discussed upfront open and honestly between all parties.

By: Anonymous on 8/10/08

What happened tothe subject on this site? Aren't we following EFI and their (X) principals?

Did we just relagated ourselves to such a low level that the only thing I read in here now is mud slinging.

Get back to the subject!!!

By: Anonymous on 8/10/08

You all need to start revealing the facts of what is happenening. I found your site due to neglect by a builder from Ventura, RW Hertel et al. He has defaulted and beedn fined on many loans and projects. His tow Partners Gene Haas in Federal Prison Lompoc, CA and recently his close financial parnter Richard D Willrodt who is partnered with Several deals in Atascadero CA, with Heritage Oaks Bank loaning the two 7 Million on a fraud case now Mr. Willrodt was arrested for molesting a 15 year old boy in Los Angeles and he has now implicated Ron Hertel Bob Fowler and Bill Zech you all better be aware of what evil and horroble crimes are being done the Bee and Times and Ventura Star have reported where are you ?

By: Anonymous on 8/10/08

to truthseeker

I've got the right Bob Kelley ! or should i say anonymous,baker, or the insider. He is nothing but a bitter loser who can't except the fact nobody wants him as a city counselman.

By: Anonymous on 8/10/08

To Joe Dirt- Please make sure you have the correct Bob Kelley – there are many in town and a couple that are or were contractors. . . . We want facts, but should be responsible. . . .Thanks

By: Anonymous on 8/10/08

To Joe Dirt – Interesting post – I suggest you copy and paste on the "Brennler and Luna won't run again" article – we will need all the facts we can get regarding all of the council candidates. Thank you.

By: Anonymous on 8/10/08

Dan & Karen,

Are you going to be up all night deleting posts?

Crawled in a den of rattlesnakes did you with your new advertiser.

By: Anonymous on 8/9/08

Keep drinking the kool-aid.

By: Anonymous on 8/9/08

Get back on the point! To try to make this about advertisers takes mondo gall!

EFI. Get it?

By: Anonymous on 8/9/08

Phoenix Group says "We help victims of investor fraud"

Did I miss it or was there a trial with guilty verdicts for fraud?

Who was convicted?

Aren't we innocent until proven guilty?

By: Anonymous on 8/9/08

to anonymous,baker,say baker,insider,and editors say or should i just say Bob Kelley! Thats right Bob Kelley or should we say candidate Kelley. Have you ever heard the saying " if you live in a glass house you should'nt throw stones" well i'm throwing boulders, here goes

1. in 1995 you were convicted on eight counts of business and professions code violations and had your contractors license revoked. License # 495532

count one : 7109a departed fron trade standards

count two : 7109b departed from plans or specifications

count three : 7113 exceeded contract amount

count four 7115: failed to comply with contractors license law

count five: 7083 failed to report license changes

count six: 7097 other license was suspended

count seven: 7098 other license was revoked

count eight: 7121.5 qualifier prohibited against association.

I guess you just might qualify as an expert in construction law since you have been convicted of violating almost all of them.

Second, you run a realty company out of your home which is not zoned light commercial, however i don't think the neighbors really mind since you have no business!

Third you have bragged about flying in Gearhart's or should we say the investors jet and how you and he were best friends. He was your biggest supporter in your failed campaign ( my bad, both failed campaigns) and you rode his coat tails right to the cash register of Jay Miller.

this is joe dirt signing off with the pledge to throw more boulders in the near future, right Bob !

By: Anonymous on 8/9/08

Can't Pheonix just HIRE a licensed contractor? If that's the case, why everyone is fighting? They aren't claiming to be a one stop shopping from LLCs to finishing a construction project all by themselves, are they?

By: Anonymous on 8/9/08

Now, kids, You all fighting over nothing. Aren't you way off the subject?

Who gives a rat a..s bout Phoenix? Do't hire them if you don't like them.

Blaming UncoverdSLO for taking their sponsorship is really none of your are to go to. Get a life!!!

By: Anonymous on 8/9/08

Any permit for work over $500 requires a licensed contractor. Any permit requiring work in three or more trades requires a licensed general contractor. The only exception is for an Owner Builder which requires ocupancy by the owner for a minimum of 12 months following final. You tell me how a LLC of multiple investors is within the law. Basically it's not only the guy managing the construction who's could be breaking the law it's his clients. Since they are signing a permit that has conditions they no way intend on following. Then when they sell the property they violate the law again for what the consqences are I'm not sure. What about the unsuspecting consumers who purchase these properties who do they call. Well we've had the DOC, the DRE, move over here comes the CSLB.

By: Anonymous on 8/9/08

to Dan Blackburn

Whether these individuals who are working on properties without the benefit of a contractors license have become your sponsors does not in my view require you to review their legal status and that of the legal status of their operation. It does appear in your comments that you have taken a possition that they appear legitimate to you and that might encourage people to engage them for services which some have challenged their right to provide. It would seem it would be wiser to have taken a more conservative stance on this issue and not to make any statements and or recomend that if anyone has any concerns regarding their right to provide this so called construction management service to check with the state regarding what requires a contractors license and what doesn't before making any decisions.

By: Anonymous on 8/9/08

Editors: You wrote a "Commentary" on June 4, 2008 about the importance of confidentiality on your site. Now you write that "We know this person's identity and he knows we know." So does that mean you choose to threaten outing those who choose to write confidentially if they challenge you? Do you now only offer confidentiality to those whom you agree with? If you know the identity of the writer, why don't you simply get in touch with them to discuss the issues rather than threatening them? As you know, you have received many posts challenging the qualifications of Phoenix from many different writers, why do you misrepresent that they only came from one source? Does "Free Speech" only extend to those whom agree with your point of view? You have called into question the integrity of may different individuals and entities on your blog, why do you get so defensive when valid questions are posed to you?

P.S. The writer indicated neither reported owner of Phoenix has any type of construction license. (You confirmed this "baseless" allegation.)The poster indicated Phoenix has existed for less than a year. (You additionally confirmed this fact as well.)

The point is this: Many people have lost tremendous amounts of money. Now, others are moving in to capitalize on their victimization and who is watching out that these same people don't get burned again by fly by night entities? Several writers wrote in challenging you to investigate Phoenix. You chose not to and instead took their advertising after they wrote in on EFI related stories seeking to solicit customers from the base of former EFI investors. Don't you think you have some duty to ask some basic questions like: What is you background in actual construction in this State? What licenses if any have you ever held such as to qualify you as being a "Construction Manager." What projects have you managed, if any? What recognized contracting firms have you worked with? What public officials such as building departments will verify your qualifications? Mr. Berry confirms he has no construction license, nor does he indicate he has ever held any type of construction related license. What qualifies him, or anyone, to hold themselves out to the unsuspecting public as a "Construction Manager"?

P.S. The State Bar of California recognizes certain areas of specialization including Family Law, Criminal, etc. I don't believe "real estate" is a certified specialty. This information is publically available on the Bar's website.

This is a terrible time as hundreds of people have lost tons of money. Isn't there some duty to challenge those who seek to "help" them so they don't get swindled again? Perhaps a truly independent media source shouldn't take any paid advertising so this question never arises?

By: Anonymous on 8/9/08

to to insider

The law is the law you don't pick and choose which ones you follow. Either they are within the law or not. My opinion is they are not. I am not an attorney however this law is very clearly stated in the business and professions code and it appears to be crystal clear to me. I suggest you have your attorney review it. Can a contractor act as an attorney? No. Can an attorney act as a contractor? No. Investigate this properly instead of looking for the answer you want and I am sure you will see the light. I am not a licensed contractor but if I was I would take this straight to the California Contractors Board for an Opinion. Perhaps they could check my contacts or hemroids next time their in the area. I'm suprised they aren't taking care or the sales too. I'll bet if they tried to do that without a brokers license the local realtors would give them a real once over.

By: Anonymous on 8/9/08

TO INSIDER SAYS: Interesting, a little while ago it was Cooper who got us in this mess. Now it is local contractors. Make up your mind. Personally I know who it was – Karen and Joshua.

By: Anonymous on 8/9/08

There is a lot more to recovering investment funds than the construction. Yes, someone could hire an attorney to get the property back, a foreclosure company to handle the foreclosure, than if needed a contractor. Though many of the properties, those that were never started, may just be sold.

And while there may be many local contractors in need of funds, many of them are the reason we are in the predicament we are.

If they are a construction management team, I do not think they need a license.

Also, are Dan and Karen supposed to investigate any one that advertises?

By: Anonymous on 8/9/08

to UncoveredSLO

I think there is some validity to questioning the operation of the Phoenix Recovery Group as described. The state of California requires any work over $500 to be done by a licensed contractor. The only exception is for an Owner Builder and in order to be an Owner Builder you need to sign an affidavit at the building department stating so. If you are one you can only work on your own home with your own hands or with licensed contractors or with your own employees that are subject to witholding and all the trimmings. In addition if you choose this path you are required to occupy the property you are developing for a minimum of 12 months after a final inspection. This is to allow people to work on their own homes or build their own homes. This is obviously not what is going on here. Number one although these investors are owners none of them is living in or intends to live in these structures. This appears on the face to be a subversion of the law and the attorney should be well aware of this. If this was acceptable then there would be no need for a General contractor license ever. Just get an owner to sign the permit. This has been the case in the past and the reason the law is written as it is. I believe if you were to investigate this more than to just ask the people providing this service whether they think its OK say at the contractors state license board you would get a much different view of the law. In a time where there are many well qualified General Contractors out there barely able to feed their familys and keep their own homes from going back to the bank it does not seem right to provide back up to someone posibly taking advantage of difficult times when all they need to do is get a contractors license if they quallify or hire someone who has one. I hope you will look a little deeper into this because I think your reader has a legitimate beef and should take this to the State board as a complaint if this practice continues.

By: Anonymous on 8/9/08


We have never identified writers who post commentary in these threads if they have chosen to write anonymously, or under a pseudonym. But several comments posted this morning – from “Compromised?”, “Baker?”, and “Hey Baker” – require some open discussion. These allegations contain unfounded charges against a new advertiser on this site, Phoenix Recovery Group LLC of Paso Robles, as well as allegations regarding our professional ethics. These comments were posted by a frequent contributor to this thread, one who always posts anonymously. We know this person’s identity, and he knows that we know. He has made these same baseless allegations in other posts, and has repeated them verbally to UncoveredSLO.com.

The facts these: Peter Josserand XIII and Ron Berry started the Phoenix Recovery Group, LLC, in September, 2007. Josserand is a duly licensed California real estate attorney, has been since 1990, and is in good standing with the California Bar Association. Berry is a construction manager. We have no evidence of problems or complaints about either.

Berry said today, “We are not remodeling or altering properties. We get groups of investor/lenders to form limited liability corporations (LLCs). We have a foreclosure company, and we do foreclosures. The investor/lenders become the property owners. We consult with the owners, inspect the properties, and help the owners deal with prime contractors. We are a construction management company, and we do not have to be licensed for that.”

Our readers at UncoveredSLO.com know that we write under our own names. Our advertisers place their messages openly, and avail themselves to the public. Critics who use this site to levy unsubstantiated allegations of wrongdoing or ethical shortcomings against others should display at least the same backbone, and properly identify themselves, at least to the editors.

It is, we might add, a matter of some pride for UncoveredSLO.com that we now have been roundly criticized by anonymous posters for (1) existing; (2) having no advertising; (3) asking for contributions; (4) accepting advertising; and (5) accepting specific advertisers.


By: Anonymous on 8/9/08

One more thing….Karen waited to file BK on July 1, because their is a provision that allows her to claim management fees if she was in charge of the fund for six months of that year. She knew she was going to file BK on July 1 when she was at the meeting in SLO in June.

As if ripping us off and lying to us about projects and funding for years wasn't bad enough, she has to go out with a request for management fees for 2008.

By: Anonymous on 8/9/08

Karen felt confident that her handpicked managers would stay in place. In was only after attorneys and investors went before the BK judge and expressed their concerns that the judge determined that they were "tainted" by their relationship with Karen and discharged them and then the US trustee appointed the trustees. If this had not occurred, the two that Karen chose could have been approved by the court and appointed as trustees. That was Karen's plan, but it backfired when she got too confident and proposed herself as a paid consultant. Her arrogance caught up with on that one.

By: Anonymous on 8/9/08

It must be intentional, right? "their" — as in their reputation.

Handpicked trustees or managers — As I recall the people she wanted to step in were supposed to be managers — not trustees. After filing, the court appoints trustees, and the debtor's nominees ? — ha! Not likely. So this whole idea that K thought she could keep control of things after declaring BK is nonsense. That was the moment of surrender. There was nowhere else to go. The BK court takes charge and that's why people who seemed to want to perpetuate this idea of a long-term plan to continue business after the BK without strict oversight are, to be charitable, uninformed. Now, I didn't say you were ignorant.

Come back ?

By: Anonymous on 8/9/08

Phoenix has been in business for less than a year with no stated experience whatsoever. A lawyer and a transmission guy posing as experienced developers. But careful, nobody question anything if they happen to be a "sponsor."

By: Anonymous on 8/9/08


Many posts have questioned Phoenix previously on this website. Neither principal has any construction license whatsoever. Check with the CSLB's website. Ron Berry had a transmission shop. I guess there won't be any questions now that they are a paid advertiser. "Uncovered" is now no different from that it questions.

By: Anonymous on 8/9/08

To compromised?

What on earth do you know about Pheonix that you aren't telling anyone? You appear speculative at most. Where is your evidence to back up such a harsh posting? If you have good reason to NOT believe they are legit it's best you share with the world before someone makes the mistake you are implying.

By: Anonymous on 8/9/08

Credibility? Ethics? Karen and Dan, I guess you are ok with accepting advertising from an entity whom you were asked to investigate given it has no construction license whatsoever, nor any experience in the construction industry other than one of its principals having been cited by the City of Atascadero for code problems with his business. So now you can continue to write articles whiping up a frenzy from senior investors of EFI and then direct them to one of your "sponsors". You have written articles as to "conspiracies" involving the County Recorder and her husband, yet what you have now chosen to do is a direct conflict of interest and is very sad. The fact you would accept advertising from a predator business set up to rip off the cusotmers a second time is truly appalling. How in the world do you justify this? Maybe you'll write another story smearing Clay Hall regarding conflict of interest while your actions are exactly the same!

By: Anonymous on 8/9/08

No matter how much trouble thier in the Estate principles seem most concerned with "thier" fees and "thier" money this will ultimatly be thier undoing as even thier most ardent fans will not be able to muster continued empathy for thier situation let alone anyone interested in criminal prosecution.

By: Anonymous on 8/9/08

Ignorant? says:

I am just totally amazed how ignorant you are. You deserve to lose your investment and more. You just can't put two and two togather still. No wonder Karen was able to entice you and screw you and unfortunately everyone else.

Go back to your cave

By: Anonymous on 8/9/08

The reason that Karen filed chapter ll instead of 7 is because she had already handpicked her trustees, she had interviewed them even before the big Madonna meeting where she said she was in for the long haul. She thought she would still be running the show by directed her handpicked appointees. After appointing the two former trustees, she proceeded to have first Mel, and then she and Josh themselves write letters urging the investors to write to the BK judge to have them appointed as "consultants". She thought she could file bk, appoint her own people, have them hire her on to run the place, and have things continue on as they had in the past without anyone the wiser as to what had gone on. I think she actually thought she could prevent discovery of her misdeeds, sell off the property, collect her fees, and stay out of jail. Sounds desperate but that is what she is.

By: Anonymous on 8/9/08

Do you really think the debtor gets to nominate a trustee in this sort of case? And to whom do you think this trustee reports? To the debtor alone?

Cooper's is not a creditor, and has no standing in BK court. That's why he recently wrote about his "position" relative to the filing. He's a goner. Now the only thing the investors have to question is whether he bids for his own projects, that is, if he picks them up for way less than they're worth. Then you will see what dear Mr. Cooper is really all about. Friend?

But then, it's really one of those chicken or the egg stories. Cooper organizes the involuntary filing of EFI. And you say K was ready to file it in a few days. Really? Then how come she filed Chapter 11, on the fund and didn't go straight to liquidation? Why try to save anything? Shed some light, I'm waiting for "anonymous" to display brilliance.

Still waiting.

You're not really in a position to call anyone ignorant, are you?

Just because there are questions to be answered doesn't mean sympathies lie with anyone but the investors. Save your insults.

By: Anonymous on 8/9/08

What Cooper did was right! Karen was only days behind him with a BK plan for EFI. She had her trustees already picked out with titles of CEO and Fund Manager. Both qualified trustees ready for and knowing of the BK to come. These guys, in my opinion were vultures waiting for a high paying trustee job. Already in cahoots with Karen prior to the BK. Frankly, that's scary! Ron's the hero here, not the villian. Learn the facts before you shoot off your posts. Some of you still defending Karen and Josh are only sounding ignorant or perhaps Josh, Joeli, Karen or a couple remaining friends they may have are posting?

And to the person who wrote that Karen and Joshua seemed like nice people. Don't you get it? They are con artist. Con artist usually have likeable personalities! Ask their staff what they think of them and you'll get another version!

By: Anonymous on 8/8/08


Where were you while "Cooper" was being nobody's friend but his own. Certainly not driving the bus. I wonder if you were even on the bus.

Easy to criticize others when you yourself have done nothing for the rest of us. Yes, I do believe what Cooper did was speed up the time frame preventing J & K from looting us for several more months.

Again, what did you do for us?

By: Anonymous on 8/8/08

I googled Richard Willrodt arrested by LAPD at Bonaventure is it there and records on file show he is a partner with Hertel it is also reported in the Ventura County Star Camarillo Man found in LA Hotel with boy

By: Anonymous on 8/8/08

Right the fund was put into bk by K and J, but Cooper — who was a borrower (!) put EFI into bk. So that means one is the villain and others are — the villains, right ?

I suspect that Cooper is nobody's friend but his own.

There seems to be a few level-headed people on this site, but one or two others who just want to make people mad. I suspect it's one of the authors of this column playing us all like a bunch of chumps. How else to keep people posting? Yeah, I think it's that poster that has a hard time spelling that is probably one of the authors — just trying to throw us off. Pretty sleezy approach. Is that you Dan? Is that you Karen?

I thought the olive oil thing was pretty old. Didn't they start that up years ago? How can anyone connect that to the events of the last year or so? And when did K buy those gas stations? Was it just last year? Never heard of Three Bells, is that a real winery?

Just questions, you can hold the insults.

By: Anonymous on 8/8/08

I googled Richard Willrodt arrested by LAPD at Bonaventure is it there and records on file show he is a partner with Hertel

By: Anonymous on 8/8/08

An attorney was in the process of putting a new managment team together for the fund. If he would have been allowed to do this the fund could have been managed by the fund investors instead of a trustee. Even if Estate was in bankruptcy the fund is a seperate entity. So if your in the fund remember it was Estate that put the fund in bankruptcy and stopped you from determining your own fate not the people who forced Estate into bankruptcy. So what were Estates motives for not letting the investors gain control over the fund and chosing bankruptcy instead. The fund was not being sued Estate was.

By: Anonymous on 8/8/08

Wow…didn't know that. I don't think the press is what makes the oil taste good though. My wife has an expensive set of cookware and she can't cook!

By: Anonymous on 8/8/08

To Esquire:

Why wouldn't their olive oil taste great? Money was no object in buying the best, most expensive press in all of Europe! She and Josh had to travel throughout Italy to find it.

By: Anonymous on 8/8/08

To Esquire:

Why wouldn't their olive oil taste great? Money was no object in buying the best, most expensive press in all of Europe! She and Josh had to travel throughout Italy to find it.

By: Anonymous on 8/8/08

Have you tasted the Olive Oil? It is Fantastic!

By: Anonymous on 8/8/08

If you were asking me…

I am an "almost" investor. I have friends that have invested and lost a lot. That is my interest in this site. The difference is my friends are waiting to see how the chips fall and I am glad. I don't believe they even monitor these comments because of the tumult it causes. I met K and J once and an found them to be very nice people. I was offerred to be an investor, took the paperwork, but in the end decided it was too risky for me. You don't have to be directly involved to be interested in the site, do you?