Guth and Yaguda plead not guilty
May 16, 2009
By KAREN VELIE
Estate Financial Principles Karen Guth and Joshua Yaguda Friday pleaded not guilty in San Luis Obispo Superior Court to charges they defrauded millions of dollars from more than 3,000 people.
Prosecutors have charged Guth and her son Yaguda with 26 felony counts associated with a hard money lending business the pair led.
In addition, San Luis Obispo County Deputy District Attorney Steve von Dohlen requested that two possible conflicts of interest be put on the record. First, he disclosed he knew people on the investor list. Von Dohlen went on to say he didn’t see a conflict of interest due to the extensive number of EFI investors.
Secondly, von Dohlen announced that Heritage Oaks Bank attorney and Vice President William Raver is married to a county deputy district attorney. He added that he believed the relationship would have no effect on the case.
Superior Court Judge Jac Crawford has questioned Heritage Oak Bank officials’ motives for securing a previously unsecured $5 million loan at a time EFI’s troubles were becoming public. Crawford noted the bank loaned Guth the money during a time when crimes were being committed.
A pre-preliminary hearing is scheduled for May 22. The mother and son investment team’s preliminary hearing is on the docket for June 9.
Guth and Yaguda have remained in jail with bail set at $5 million each since their October 16 arrest.