Estate Financial president Karen Guth getting out of prison early

December 11, 2013

Karen Guth Joshua YagudaA principal in a fraudulent $3oo million investment scheme she ran out of the Estate Financial Inc. office in Paso Robles, which financially ruined thousands of people, is slated to be released after serving a little more than six years in prison, according to a Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation notice of release.

After spending six years and five months of an eight year sentence, Karen Guth, is to be released under San Luis Obispo County Probation supervision on March 31, 2014. If she commits no further violations while on probation, she will likely be released after one year by statute.

San Luis Obispo Superior Court Judge Jac Crawford sentenced Estate Financial, Inc. principal Guth to 12 years and her son Josh Yaguda to eight years on Dec. 7, 2009. Yaguda was released after spending three years and four months in prison.

Yaguda and Guth plead guilty to fraudulently selling securities without the proper licenses, lying to investors and stealing or destroying property worth $3.2 million.

Even so, EFI’s portfolio contained more than $317 million in monies owed to investors when the company filed bankruptcy in 2008. Of that, only $21,000 was held free and clear.

Guth and Yaguda illegally used investor monies contracted to fund construction projects to fund other businesses they owned, to pay investors for non-related projects, and to cover operating expenses.

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You might take notice of their attire, that soon may replace the power tie at board meetings. This has become a trendy style for the wealthy and a great reminder that we have funded their livelyhood on both sides of the locked cell.

“Karen Guth will not be welcomed back to town. I sincerely hope that she and her criminal son move to another county. Not only did she defraud Heritage Oaks Bank (Paso), Dee Lacey (long time resident), but many Paso residents who still live and work here.”


That’s a cute fairy tale but Heritage Oaks and Dee Lacey helped the Guths to continue perpetuating their crimes so they could position themselves to collect the moneys of the other investors before the hammer came down on the entire scam.

While Oaks and Lacey took the money and ran, the investors were left holding the bag and the contents were not at all sweet-smelling!!

Absolutely…! If the “problems” with EFI had been disclosed in a timely manner… I certainly wouldn’t have placed my $$$ with them…! (sigh)

Karen Guth will not be welcomed back to town. I sincerely hope that she and her criminal son move to another county. Not only did she defraud Heritage Oaks Bank (Paso), Dee Lacey (long time resident), but many Paso residents who still live and work here.

As an “investor” who lost my life savings to these two individuals… I question that justice has been served…

I understand that more jail time would not have returned my $$$… but not only was the original sentence far too lenient… the actual time served has been a (bad) joke…

Between the judge’s actions… the part the D.A.’s office played… and the failure on the part of the bankruptcy attorney to provide a more positive outcome for investors ( less than 5 percent of my $$$ has been returned to me)… I fail to see how justice has been served…!

The family must have some money somewhere. The wife of Yaguda is already in business again with a shop on the square in part of the former A & R Furniture Store.

If you think they have hidden cash, consider this: they were arrested in Paso, They did not flee to Costa Rica like Linda Kennedy. If they had buried cash, why not scoop it up and hide?These two were in way over their heads and broke laws to keep the business afloat. They were not close to being as smart as people give them credit.

There assets were frozen and later liquidated by the DA. They have nothing and that’s the way it should be.

I hope you are right in your assertions; if so, that does sound a little like what “justice” should be ….

You mean the same DA’s office that did this fine piece of work—

Former SLO police officer receives 18-month sentence–

You kidder !!!!

You give the DA’s office a lot of credit. This would be the same office that should have Mr. Gearhart behind bar’s for the next 200 years.

Having personally had experience with the DA’s office I can tell you, good luck.

My using the DA site as a reference doesn’t mean “a lot of credit”

Merely a source of info.

The Gearhart thing is a federal prosecution and has nothing to do with the SLO DA, it was decided early on that SLO would goe after EFI and the Feds would investigate Hurst Financial. This dal was struck due to lack of funds in the SLO DA office

You can bet Kelly Gearhart’s monies are in the Cayman Islands, or with relatives and friends and he might not do any Prison time at all…


Somebody please explain to me how it is that we are supposed to believe and make our children believe “that crime doesn’t pay” with stories like this and all the other ones (Cory Pierce, etc.)

It’s getting to be quite ridiculous. Steal millions, be a corrupt LEO and you get a get out of jail free card.

Smoke a little pot for what ails you and go to jail for years, losing everything in the process.

No organized crime more efficient and effective than that of the government.

Was the family able to keep the olive ranch?

Maybe not the ranch but I wouldn’t be surprised if a good chunk of the stolen money isn’t hidden away somewhere

If there is a dash for cash, it will be for the laundry list first as in bad ink.