Kelly Gearhart’s sentencing hearing delayed again

February 23, 2015
Kelly Gearhart and James Hurst Miller

Kelly Gearhart and James Hurst Miller

The sentencing hearing for former Atascadero developer Kelly Gearhart has been changed three times in the past month and is currently set for June 1.

In May, Gearhart pleaded guilty to two counts of wire fraud and one count of money laundering in a Los Angeles federal court. Gearhart, 53, admitted that he knowingly and intentionally made misrepresentations and omissions relating to development projects to get people and institutions, including nonprofits, to trust him with their money. Gearhart faces a statutory maximum of 50 years in federal prison for defrauding investors out of more than $100 million.

Gearhart’s sentencing hearing was originally set for August 2014. It was then extended to Dec. 29 and then to Feb. 23, according to court documents. Then on Feb., 3, it was set for June 1. On Feb., 4 the date was moved to Aug., 17. Then on June 10, the court reset the sentencing hearing for June 1.

In May, Gearhart plead guilty to three charges in connection with the Vista Del Hombre project. He also agreed to pay restitution to his victims of that scheme of up to $20 million and to be truthful when dealing with the court, the probation department and pretrial services. In exchange, prosecutors dropped 13 of the 16 felony charges.
At that time, Goorvitch said he planned to seek a sentence of 11 years in federal prison. But, United States District Judge Otis D. Wright II is free to sentence Gearhart up to 50 years.

Gearhart and James Miller, the former president of Hurst Financial, defrauded more than 1,200 investors of more than $100 million in an alleged Ponzi scheme. Gearhart bilked investors who put money into Central Coast real estate projects and then siphoned off the monies for other purposes.

In 2011, Miller agreed to plead guilty to charges of fraud and money laundering in a plea agreement in which the court agreed to grant Miller’s daughter Courtney Brard immunity, according to court records.  In December, Miller’s sentencing hearing was extended to March 30.

Gearhart’s questionable financial dealings were brought to light in a lengthy, ongoing series of articles by CalCoastNews starting in 2008.

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  1. gmoncall says:

    Interesting case for the Gearhart’s in Medina County (Ohio) court. Case # 15CIV0075

    It is fun to read who the people are behind the two LLCs that have been set up to buy the properties. Normally don’t see that info unless it is disclosed through court pleadings.

    (3) 3 Total Votes - 3 up - 0 down
  2. Jorge Estrada says:

    I wonder who will be protected by allowing the statute of limitations to run out before he rats on them. Is that possible?

    (7) 7 Total Votes - 7 up - 0 down
    • Nancimeek says:

      Not to worry Jorge. Once the crime has been disclosed and the courts are aware of the crime, there is no statute of limitations. If the authorities are not informed and the statute runs out you are up the creek. This is why we were so adamant and forthright going after Kelly Gearhart’s attorney and partner Grigger Jones. Once the wheels are set in motion it is up to the courts and government agencies to act. no statute of limitations. Curious to see what the courts are going to do with regard to the fraud committed with the Pe Ji Ho Ta casino venture of which our stepmother used $636,000 of our Dad’s trust money to buy in as a partner. Still haven’t heard anything on that and they know about it. Hmmmmm

      (0) 6 Total Votes - 3 up - 3 down
  3. SmilingJack says:

    He might be giving enough info a little at a time, so he can postpone going in. Once an investigation begins it becomes like a spider web. Being he’s a “user” he’ll give names and ifo connected to that name, then who they were involved with, then when they go to that person they’ll give more names and particular info to that involved meant. Pretty time consuming and he’s no doubt dragging it out with what he knows and who he knows. There’s alot of people involved or that co-signed his behavior. That whole thing with Pe ji hota (another) scam, involved tribal members of a splinter group with their own dirty deeds. Pretty sad when you have to sue your own tribal members because they didn’t want to be involved with the casino scam. –True Salinans would not do that. These so called tribal members that were involved with him were out for the money and “me-me-me”, not for the Tribe. They just used them to get them to agree with the casino and when they didn’t agree with it, they turned around and sued their own tribe for $20,000. That will tell you a little bit about their character!

    (15) 15 Total Votes - 15 up - 0 down
    • Nancimeek says:

      In case Kelly Gearhart has forgotten to name Attorney Robert Grigger Jones, his lawyer and partner with the Pe Ji Ho Ta Casino, I would love to remind him………the $636,000 missing from our Dad’s trust was the exact amount of the buy in…..No doubt Robert Grigger Jones was instrumental in that transaction since he kept trying to apply for a license for the casino in Nevada and California. hope that helps

      (0) 6 Total Votes - 3 up - 3 down
  4. achillesheal says:

    If I were 53, unremoreful for the crimes i committed, and facing say 25+ years in prison, I would do anything possible to make myself disappear.

    Why do they keep giving this guy more time to possibly slip thought the cracks? Is he home under house arrest with electronic monitoring, or is he planning his getaway before June?

    (21) 23 Total Votes - 22 up - 1 down
  5. Mr. Holly says:

    This gets more and more interesting as time moves on. Obviously there is something going on here to cause all of these delays. I can’t recall ever seeing delays like this in any type of prior cases. This is not passing the smell test and I’m sure there are still some other players out there who are worried about this and are not sleeping well at night. Maybe Kelly is honoring his agreement to be truthful and then we will all know who the other players are besides Gearhart and Miller.

    (22) 24 Total Votes - 23 up - 1 down
  6. tidepool says:

    When is Rod Jarmin going to be held accountable? Karen Guth is alive and well living the good life in Templeton running her little boutique wine basket store with stolen money from innocent investors after serving her time in prison. What justice???

    (27) 31 Total Votes - 29 up - 2 down
  7. OnTheOtherHand says:

    I understand that the wheels of justice often grind slowly but it would be nice to see them grind at all in this case.

    (40) 42 Total Votes - 41 up - 1 down

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