Guth and Yaguda plead not guilty

May 16, 2009


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.

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By: Nameless on 5/22/09 [Delete]

Status of Criminal Case

The next hearing will be held on Tuesday, June 9, at the Grover Beach Courthouse (located at 214 S. 16th Street, Grover Beach). This hearing will include defense motions discussed at the pre-preliminary hearing held on May 22, at 1:30pm at the San Luis Obispo County Superior Court.

The pre-preliminary hearing was continued, at the defense counsel’s request, and after the Deputy District Attorney’s objection, to Tuesday, July 14 at 1:30pm at the San Luis Obispo County Superior Court (courtroom to be determined). This hearing will be used to confirm readiness to proceed to the next hearing, a preliminary hearing, now scheduled for Thursday August 20, at 8:30am at the San Luis Obispo County Superior Court (courtroom to be determined). A preliminary hearing involves the presentation of evidence and testimony by select witnesses and is intended to confirm that there is sufficient evidence to proceed to trial. Both hearings are open to the public.

The defendants remain in custody with $5 million bail each, as previously set.

By: Nameless on 5/19/09 [Delete]


I wouldn’t bet on it. Let things play itself out.

By: Al on 5/18/09 [Delete]

I suspect that is the hand Guth and son are playing or praying for.

By: insider on 5/18/09 [Delete]

This thing is costing the county plenty. You watch pretty soon it will be time served plus a probation.

By: JorgeEstrada on 5/18/09 [Delete]

Have patience, they are innocent until proven broke.

By: Nameless on 5/17/09 [Delete]

By: DashRiprock

We all shouold give more credit to the DA specifically under the circumstances. I think they’ve done a great job when we consider that so many others still walking free despite all the assumed evidences.

So, when in 2010, election comes, remember the DA. In the meantime “NEVER EVER GIVE UP”.We all would love to see a few hanging poles, but the system is just not that way. Thank God for it. Othervise we could be hanging there too. Mrs. Guth ad everythibg going and still the DA had the balls to do the right thing.

By: DashRiprock on 5/17/09 [Delete]

Alot of things don’t make sense, how do they rot in jail why a guy like gearhart, who left so many in his dust is still is living high? how did the kid on price canyon road get probation when u or i would have done 17 years? the DA in this town has the balls of of field mouse and is in on the take. money talks.

By: xlswede on 5/17/09 [Delete]

Greedy huh? Trust deed investments have been a good option for investors for many years. The risk / reward is high and once in a while you get one back. These crooks committed a crime and will pay for it. To call the investors greedy is like telling the rape victim she asked for it. Grow up Outsider!

By: Nameless on 5/16/09 [Delete]

The Mortgage Fund never had anything recorded for good reason. It was a vehicle to collect funds from unsuspecting investors to pay interest back and charge fees to the benefit of EFI and of course Karen and Josh. The pair had withdrawn over $1,300,000 in the last 12 months before the

involuntary bankruptcy filing. So, anyone still think that this was just a Real Estate downturn must be out of their freaking mind.

By: Nameless on 5/16/09 [Delete]


You are either an idiot or just a MORON

By: George on 5/16/09 [Delete]

Please, not the greed meme again, worse than spam.

By: hotdog on 5/16/09 [Delete]

Outsider, I guess your name says it all. You are, at the least, ignorant. You parrot these old, worn out comments about the ‘greedy” (and implied, ‘stupid’) investors. You blame the victims, those who have worked hard all their lives and finally have a small pile to get them through their retirement and wish to invest in somewhere wherein they can get a bit of a return. Since inflation and other issues eat away at any savings these particular investments were prudent (IF the crooks had been honest and competent-neither of which happened).

There are perhaps 5000 victims of our four known crooked broker firms. Over half a billion dollars has been stolen from mostly those who have no time/ability to recover from their losses. And all you have to say is that disgusting comment? I assume you are a fool, troll or minion of the crooks. I have invited the likes of you to public debate or near fatal meeting with sharp sticks; like the cowards and armchair cowboys just thrown out of power you and those like you decline any resolution by your silence. Figures…

By: Al on 5/16/09 [Delete]

Not “greedy” outsider… just trying to survive since “trickle down” only worked for the people at the top.

By: outsider on 5/16/09 [Delete]

Its too bad there were so many greedy people who lost sooo much….

By: Jim on 5/16/09 [Delete]

Whether they plead guilty… or not guilty… when all the evidence is presented… I believe they will be put away for a long… long time…!

By: alex.s on 5/16/09 [Delete]

Actually, a pre-preliminary hearing is standard in every felony case. It is held a few days before the preliminary hearing to make sure all the witnesses are available.

By: Nameless on 5/16/09 [Delete]

It is unusual to have a “pre-preliminary hearing”. What is the rush? Its only been 7 months that no plea was entered. What else is going on?