SLO County battling trustees over Gearhart properties

June 29, 2012

Kelly Gearhart

Following an announcement in early June by the San Luis Obispo County tax collector’s office that several of former North County developer Kelly Gearhart’s tax-defaulted properties were to be sold at auction on July 1, an Ohio court trustee filed a motion to stop the proposed sales.

As of June 6, Gearhart, his wife Tamara Gearhart, and several of their subsidiaries owed SLO County $537,987  in property taxes, fees and penalties.

In the wake of an FBI investigation into fraud and organized crime, the Gearharts moved to Wadsworth, Ohio in 2008. The couple was accused of helping to defraud more than 1,200 investors of more than $100 million in an alleged Ponzi scheme.

In February 2009, the Gearharts filed personal bankruptcy in Ohio claiming $6.5 million in estimated assets and $45.1 million in estimated debts.

Earlier this month, an attorney for bankruptcy trustee Harold Corzin sent a letter to San Luis Obispo County Tax Collector Frank Freitas asking him to stop the proposed auction of Gearhart’s properties because they are in the advanced stages of litigation with a tentative settlement already in place.

“To the extent that you are proposing to sell parcels titled in the name of Kelly V. Gearhart and not yet abandoned by the bankruptcy trustee, this conduct is in violation of the automatic stay of the bankruptcy court,” said Corzin’s attorney Kenneth L. Gibson in the letter.

Corzin explained that the bankruptcy court  proceeds would be used to pay property taxes as well as Gearhart’s creditors. If sold by the tax collector, Gearhart’s other creditors would be left without compensation, according to Corzin’s motion to stop the sales.


I contacted Corzin when the bankruptcy filing was made known to myself. After several telephone calls, his secretary nor Mr. Corzin would provide us wtih any information even though we had proof that Atascadero Attorney (and former Man of the Year) Robert Grigger Jones partners with Kelly Gearhart had used the check from our father’s stocks he cashed out in the amount of $646,000 coincidentally the same amount as the buy in for Pe Ji Ho Ta casino partenrs Chris Molina, Grigger Jones, Kelly Gearhart and Dan Phillips.

Not to worry, the people doing the investigation KNOW. Have some faith investors. It is NOT over.


hey, the people who invested were like minded ‘friends’ that went to the same clubs, restaurants, churches…right ?

One big happy family of money grubbers ?

What’s the problem ? All of them were looking to rip off someone , somewhere .

Hey, he had to move to Ohio. Isn’t that suffering enough ?


Friends at the same clubs?

I heard the same thing. In fact while Attorney Robert Grigger Jones was on the stand during the evidentiary hearing he mentioned several times how he and my father were lodge buddies, hanging together at various functions. I was really close with my dad, Grigger jones is NOT his kind of guy. A colleague and casual friend but not the CLOSE relationship Grigger Jones was attempting to portray in front of the Judge. And his wife ALice Lancey, the way she talked to me when I politely called Jones at his house? If you had heard our eveil and venomous this woman was talking to me? after our family had paid her husband’s legal fees? No respect at all. Fahgeddabout it!


Atascadero’s “Citizen of the Year” = Kelly Gearhart.

Kinda makes me sick.


Someone said schoolboard member Don Clickard made Gearhart Citizen of the Year. Good ol’ boy network in A-town goes beyond city council.


Never heard this but I doubt “Click” had that much clout with the city to render even KG the city’s “Citizen of the Year”. Would be interested to speak to that “someone”…


The attorney in Ohio is correct, however, the question to be asked is how much does Kelly, his wife or idiot son Jeremy owe after bankruptcy proceedings commenced? Now if these sums were owed after the filing for protection, then the local tax collector can make a real argument that the Gearhart’s financial issues after filing for bankruptcy are the issue at hand, thus potentially allowing the County to sell the assets.

On the opposite side of the fence is the question, did the County receive official notice of the bankruptcy filing, if not then the county can sell the assets to pay back taxes and remand the balance to the federal bankruptcy court in Ohio. If Gearhart failed to inform the County Assessor of the bankruptcy filing, then the County Tax Collector may be a victim of yet another fraud perpetrated by the Gearhart clan – Tamara, Kelly and Jeremy? The other major issue is simply the attorney in Ohio needs to motion the court to stop the sale of the assets. The attorney’s letter is worthless and he knows it. If his position had any merit he would have gone to the federal bankruptcy court to seek a stay on the sale of the real assets.

So we all loose and Kelly lives like a king on stolen assets.


Let’s see – he stole millions of dollars from local investors, left town, and now the county tax collector wants his money so, screw the investors, but make sure the government gets its share of stolen goods.

The property should be given over to the investors, who were the ones who really paid for it, and let them decide how to deal with it..

And why or why is this guy out free? He SHOULD be in prison for a long time, not living it up in Ohio.

Mr. Holly

Proceeds will be used to pay taxes and the creditors? How much do you think will be left after the leach attorney’s get their fees? This entire episode is a judicial joke.


not much either way it goes.

As the world turns

Attorneys have too much power. Legislation, written by attorneys, vest too much power in attorneys. Attorneys, and only attorneys, can prepare certain documents which the average citizen could easily prepare. The difference is the attorney gets paid hundreds of dollars. One problem with this country is that attorneys are in control. Two-hundred and twenty-five members of Congress (168 Representatives and 57 Senators) list law as their occupation.


I thought the property tax was attached to the property? Who owns it doesnt matter much to the County. Auction this off, get off the pot and move on. The County cant keep the extra after the sale, it goes back to other lien holders.


I thought he was supposed to be indicted by the Feds in February/March. What is the big

holdup in this case? Some people can just keep on stealing and stay on the streets….amazing!!!


Funny huh? Steal some small stuff and you are immediatly in jail paying fines and restitution. Steal big, and life doesnt change much for the crook. just hire an attorney or two (with stolen funds) and delay everything. The attorneys are in bed with the crooks.


The FBI offices in Santa Maria are under the radar so I would imagine they are working diligently, now at least.


Thank You Nancimeek for the update on the investigation! It’s been a long time since this investigation started, but I know it’s like a spider web. One person might lead to several others, then each one of those lead to others. Being a private investigator, you know how it goes.