Estate financial principals to plead guilty to all charges

October 2, 2009
Karen Guth and Joshua Yaguda, photo courtesy of KSBY.

Karen Guth and Joshua Yaguda, photo courtesy of KSBY.

Karen Guth and Joshua Yaguda’s attorneys informed the San Luis Obispo District Attorney’s office they plan to plead guilty to 23 felony counts on Monday morning.

“This is not a plea bargain, so the defendants are required to plead guilty to all counts and admit all enhancements as charged,” according to a KSBY article.


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By: cheseburger on 10/5/09

Cindy you right, insider your right, but bottom line I was to busy pouring concrete to check on my investments until one day on the job, “Kelly Gearhart! there’s people who want to kill him!” a home owner shouted after my bragging of my secure investments with Gearhart, This was January 2008, well you know the rest but, all of these people who commingled funds, misrepresented investments, they have done worse than killing in cold blood their victims get a slow and painful death, of starvation,and insider, you can say it was investors mistake, but this was a well thought out, well planned, well executed conspiracy, by many criminals who hope fully will be left wet naked and draped over a hard metal table in prison, for much longer than this humiliating sentence. I get a little satisfaction here, but I’d rather be throwing heads down the f___g stairs, who’s with me, let’s bowl!

By: Joanna on 10/5/09

The amount of time they are serving is complete BS. This sets a precedence for future theives. If that’s all the time they serve, there will be no fear instilled in other potential wanna-be crooks. What a weak, weak sentence! It’s so weak I truly think the DA’s office should be investigated. Something is wrong here and the DA’s duty of protecting the people shows to be severely flawed if Karen and Joshua’s time served is this light. I hope the higher agencies are listening out there? The sentencing alone seems crooked. Who’s protecting who here?

By: Cindy on 10/5/09

“Who was it that said “Trust but verify” ”

David Lindgren, people need to read it.

By: insider on 10/5/09

Who was it that said “Trust but verify”

By: Cindy on 10/5/09

Touche’ Insider, Yes I hear you. I was never an investor in these development projects. I choose other avenues. Not for the less, I don’t like to see the people who did invest be ostracized as if it’s their fault. It’s not their fault, we shouldn’t have to live in a world where no one can be trusted, not even our long known high school buddies or the Atascadero Man of the year. Yes it’s been a wake up call and many have learned. My heart breaks for those, that they learned so hard a lesson. Trust is obsolete. A Mans word has nothing to do with his honor. How sad, and it goes beyond that, there are no watch dogs protecting us for all the money the tax payers extended to supposed gov oversight and protection. How sad that we can trust NO ONE.

By: insider on 10/5/09

to Cindy,

I said Josh and Karen are crooks. Apparently you have learned nothing. No one should invest their money no matter how passive the investment and not look carefully at the investment before proceeding. If we put all the blame on them as if they are the one bad apple then we are setting ourselves up for the same scam from the next trustwothy golden child. Please I hope you have learned something.

By: Cindy on 10/5/09

Insider many investors were actually invested in large pools. They were told it was safer because they were not limited to one project but had spread there eggs into many baskets. Consequently these investors weren’t able to identify any specific projects or who the partners were. One elderly woman reported than when she wanted to check on the status of her project (where she was included on the trust deed), she was talked into transferring her investment into the pool (as a favor from Karen) because she was told she would be much safer! Now she doesn’t even have a trust deed to fall back on and the pool is defunct and funds were unreasonably commingled. Not everyone had the ability to check on their projects.Likewise people weren’t informed that Guth has partnership interests with some of the contractors and developers. This scam worked as well as it did because this is a small county and these investments were based on trust, reputation and media hype, like the Tribune telling everyone that everything was just fine.

By: insider on 10/5/09

Josh and Karen are going to jail. Josh and Karen are crooks. Why did we the developers allow them to under fund our projects. Why did we allow projects to drag on month after month without draws because they had no construction funds, yet we could see they were sending the interest payments to the investors? Why did we the investors sit idly by collecting our monthly interest payments while all the time we saw no or limited progress was made on the very construction that was our security? Or better yet if we never check the job or the books why? Why did we the associates and employees watch these developers and investors circle the drain day after day, week after week, month after month, year after year? Trust or Greed? Or a little of both? It’s over we can’t let it dominate the rest of our life. Anyone who would have looked at this and reviewed it rationally would have seen it coming a mile away. At least someone out their must realize this.

By: MartinW on 10/4/09

People who have been damaged like cheseburger is exactly the reason that Guth and Yaguda need to go to prison for the next 20 years. I wasn’t an investor, yet he makes me want to hang their heads on post, for him and people like him.

By: cheseburger on 10/4/09

To all, I am angry, I watching my happy life disappear in front of my eyes, I killed myself in construction, (CONCRETE) for thirty years, for what some slimy fat punk kid named Gearhart to take it away, to blatantly take what was represented to be so safe and so secure, CITIZEN of the year, Hurst Financial, Miller, Brard, Robert M. Jones, Melanie Snot, sorry typo. I want to see all their heads roll. A benevolent dictator (me) cheseburger in power, I would make sheriff Joe look like a teenage babysitter. I wouldn’t chop off any heads, I’d make them do each other, you know, sever, all family ties. The last one might just get to keep the ax. This post might just get the ax. Employee sorry I’m with nameless on this one, his name is right.

By: cheseburger on 10/4/09

Gearhart pocketed my money and I would truly enjoy throwing his and Miller’s head down the white house stairs, then a true and just politician, would appropriately put it up on a post, for all to see. Gee guys think we would get an arrest by the F.B.I. then?

By: BeenThereDoneThat on 10/4/09

Yes it is some of the developers that pocketed the money.

By: Cindy on 10/4/09

Yes OK BTDT. Your right, there is a big difference between contractors and developers. Isn’t it the developers (some of them) who pocketed the money?

By: BeenThereDoneThat on 10/4/09

Financing for anybody that wants to beat me up on spelling.

By: BeenThereDoneThat on 10/4/09

Another thought on the structor here. Guth and son, Miller and daughter and these other fiancers would be the fiancing arm, Kelly and the others next as the developer arm and contractors last as the building arm.

So there is a diffence in each when referencing to what happened in the food chain.

By: BeenThereDoneThat on 10/4/09

Maybe this is where things are getting confused. I see Ronnie as a developer. I see contractors as those performing the work in building the structers etc. that they money goes to.

Kelly, Ronnie, Graves etc. are developers. As a matter of fact I bet not one of them has a B-1 licence. Hence they would NOT be a contractor. BIG difference.

By: hotdog on 10/4/09

Well, let’s be patriotic here. I say Hotdog will present the facts concerning sentencing and let Cheseburger act as judge and levy the sentence. What could be more fair than that?

I think we would make ole Joe look pretty tame.

By: Cindy on 10/4/09

I think maybe employee is just pointing out that there were other culprits who collectively made this scam possible. There were certainly innocent people involved who didn’t know but others did know. There were contractors who were also ripped off and projects that would have been viable and turned a profit if the financing hadn’t been cut off. There were also contractors that pocketed the money and didn’t perform. The bottom line is that it was Guth and Yaguda who were responsible for this. It would be nice to chase down some contractors that pocketed money like Ronnie Shores. Right now we can’t even get Gearhart, Miller, Hertel, Linda Kennedy, Melanie (whats her face from Cuesta Title) and the list goes on. Hopefully we are seeing a first conviction and many more to come. I’d like to see them all get at least 20 years of served time.

cheseburger is funny. He is so so angry. I don’t think he’ll ever out do himself after the rant about cutting off the Congressman’s head and watching it roll down the steps of the White House! GOL (giggling) He is so creative at times.

By: BeenThereDoneThat on 10/4/09

I love this line..

Must we not forget about all the other people who played a part in this collapse, contractors who took money knowing they could not make the interest payments, ex-employees who through their real estate license to follow the laws bound by that license,

You can’t be serious? Are you saying that contractors and realitors are responsible??

They performed a TASK and were paid for such. They didn’t steal no money!

If investors were paid off to keep quite that is different but the realitors and the contractors? I fail to see your connection and VERY flimsy arguement.

By: Nameless on 10/4/09

employee: You are full of it. Still don’t get it

By: employee on 10/4/09

Well i guess they are gonna get what they have coming to them. Must we not forget about all the other people who played a part in this collapse, contractors who took money knowing they could not make the interest payments, ex-employees who through their real estate license to follow the laws bound by that license, and by the investors who were paid off when the trouble started who did not report this to the authorities. May we all learn a lesson from this, and may Karen and Josh never again live the life of luxery that you all provided for them for many years.

By: cheseburger on 10/4/09

12 years 8 years, it’s not April 1st, is it? I say give them life and they will probably cough up a lot more green, personally I would chop off a hand from each, and make them work with the other counting money, naked in a glass cage, in the Paso Park for public display, and defrauded investors be allowed to pour boiling oil on them daily.

By: dhgscw on 10/4/09

We love Sheriff Joe in Maricopa County. He wins re-election by hugh margins.

By: hotdog on 10/4/09

Some of Joe’s ideas are OK but he is a real fascist. Search out the article in the New Yorker a few months back. I have no pity for Guth and the other crooks who do so much damage, and would love to see them under Joe’s thumb. But many others do not deserve such harsh treatment.

Joe has too much power and is sort of a minor J Edgar Hoover.

By: insider on 10/4/09

You can kill them but you don’t get to eat the corpse.

By: Cindy on 10/4/09

Good Call BTDT and dhgscw – Sheriff Araipo has the right idea. He made an excellent point when he said that tents are good enough for our troops in the middle east. Tents should be good enough for non violent criminals in my opinion. Why build more prisons when we can set up tents and make people pay their way for the free room and board? I say non violent criminals because there are some animals that nothing can hold back but a cage.

By: dhgscw on 10/4/09

Put them in Sheriff Joe’s ‘tent city’ !!!!!

By: BeenThereDoneThat on 10/4/09

We need to make prison time scary again, so you don’t want to wind up there in the first place. To that end lets see chain gangs again. Nothing like busting rock for 12 and 8 years respectively, to make the next a**hole think before breaking the law.

Just think about (sheriff) Joe in Arizona that does less and people don’t want to go back.

By: hotdog on 10/4/09

I say give them the rack for life…

By: Nancimeek on 10/4/09

Who are the attorneys?

By: Jim on 10/3/09

Guth and Yaguda refused to cooperate with the trustees handling the bankruptcy… Guth was in the process of setting up the same scheme… in a different state at the time of her arrest… and from what I have been told… there is not much in the way of assets coming to the “investors”…

So… a few years behind bars (I’m told that time served can be cut in half for good behavior)… for millions of $$$ stolen…

Well… perhaps this isn’t the end of the story…

By: BIG_SMILES on 10/3/09

The DA doesn’t want to have to try this case or any of the other cases coming down the road like Miller, Gerhart and a few others. This is a plea deal without lesser charges but with a lesser sentence. The plea deal is to PLEAD GUILTY and the judge will be nice. SCREW THIS.

Five years for what they did to thousands of people is BS. I know prison time won’t get anybody their money back. Prison time for a murder doesn’t bring back the deceased either but knowing the perpetrator is miserable just like the victim’s are sure does help the psyche.

By: Paso_Guy on 10/3/09

Time served or 20 years…either way, the investors will not see any money from the fund. The trustees are enjoying our retirement $.

I find no satisfaction from this.

By: BeenThereDoneThat on 10/3/09

Yea I love that they state, that it’s not a plea bargain. Then I see in the Trib this morning that they (judge, prosecution) will work with them on term, if they do a list of things for them. Hmm. So are they trying to convience us that the pile of s**t is a pile or rose peddles??

Then if they do work on term, it will be like Cindy said. Get the term down, then good behavior and out in less than five? Great justice. Oh and lets not forget they would probably get credit for time (last year) served. So definately out in less than five. You give Yaguda eight, he will definately be out in less than four!!

By: Cindy on 10/3/09

This does seem odd, however the alternative is that they go to trial and lose. Considering all the money that this will cost the tax payers including Guth and Yaguda’s expensive attorneys they could end up getting the Bernie Madoff treatment in the end. A trial will only further outrage the citizens as it’s reported day by day along with the costs. By pleading guilty they will probably be out in 5 years and be credited for time already served. This will also set a precedent for all the other crooks that the county is going to have to prosecute. I think it stinks. Five or six years of real time served for these crimes is a slap on the wrist.

By: DanBlackburn on 10/2/09

For the record: This story and the facts of Guth’s and Yaguda’s fiscal rape of so many people would have remained under the radar, well off The Tribune’s pages, and conveniently ignored by D.A. Jerry Shea had it not been for the enterprising and dogged reporting of my former partner Karen Velie. Her work on this Web site regarding EFI has been a public service for which she has yet to be recognized and rewarded. That day is coming.

By: Newsome on 10/2/09

Sumpin’ smells funny.

I cannot begin to fathom the nature of the upcoming boondoggle, but something is about to go horribly wrong.

Regular people don’t do that. Rich people that don’t even have to pay their own atty costs clearly have no gain in doing that.

Something isn’t right.

By: BeenThereDoneThat on 10/2/09

What the heck???? Did they get an epipheny?

I have NEVER seen people with overwhelming evidence in murder, this stuff, etc. plead guilty without a plea bargain. Maybe plead no contest but WHY after a whole year of screwing around in the court? Why now??

There has to be more to this.

By: Clemintine on 10/2/09

Good job to Cal Coast news for getting the ball rolling and shining a light on these crooks. You broke the story and had things not been exposed when they were there is no telling how many more good folks would have been bilked.

I do wish the judge would double the sentence to let the time fit the crime.

I noticed that Tribune also reported todays story but not a word of respect to Cal Coast News. Tribune has no class and that is why they have lost so many customers.

Ms. Velie: Keep doing your work on behalf of the public who is counting on you to keep us apprised of shinanigans … and maybe, just maybe, we can get things turned around in this county.