Kelly Gearhart appeals guilty plea, sentencing

July 8, 2015

Gearhart111By KAREN VELIE

Former Atascadero developer Kelly Gearhart plead guilty to money laundering and wire fraud, was sentenced to 14 years in federal prison last week, and Monday he filed a notice of appeal.

According to the notice, Gearhart plans to appeal his guilty plea, his 14 year sentence and his reprimand into a federal facility in Los Angeles where he is currently being held without bail. Nevertheless, even though Gearhart’s attorney noted his intent to appeal multiple issues, in his appeal he may or may not raise each issue.

Until last week, Gearhart had lived in Ohio after posting $100,000 bail in 2012.

In July 2012, Gearhart was indicted by a federal grand jury on 16 charges of mail fraud, wire fraud, and money laundering. If convicted on all charges, Gearhart faced up to 300 years in federal prison.

In 2014, Gearhart, now 55, plead guilty to knowingly and intentionally making misrepresentations and omissions relating to real estate projects to get people and institutions, including nonprofits, to trust him with their money. As part of the plea agreement, Gearhart was charged with three of the original 16 felony counts which reduced the maximum sentence allowable by law to 50 years in federal prison.

During Gearhart’s sentencing hearing, the prosecution asked for a 135 months sentence and Gearhart sought 57 months’ imprisonment. Nevertheless, U.S. District Court Judge Otis Wright II sentenced Gearhart to 168 noting the grievous harm Gearhart inflicted on his victims.

The court filed a schedule on Tuesday that requires Gearhart’s attorney to file an opening brief by Nov. 4 and the prosecution to respond by Dec. 4.

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  1. SanSimeonSam says:

    I sincerely hope that someone mentions the fact that Kelly was a long time prison guard to his new best buddies and that he is mixed in with the general prison population.

    (10) 12 Total Votes - 11 up - 1 down
    • kayaknut says:

      Pretty much guaranteed that anytime Kelly spends in prison will be in Administrative Segregation, private cell, food brought to you, solo time outside and a guard with you at all times you are out of your cell.

      (1) 5 Total Votes - 3 up - 2 down
  2. Cindy says:

    Hummm, I think Kelly will run if he gets bail. He had years to say goodbye to his wife and daughter but when he heard his sentence he tried to get extra time before reporting to prison.He was expecting a 4 1/2 year sentence which wouldn’t be too difficult in a federal prison for him do but then when he got 14 years, that was another matter.

    I have no doubt that he has money stashed away and while it isn’t worth it to run over a 4 – 41/2 year sentence, it’s worth it to run from 14 years. He will be 70 years old when he gets out, his daughter will be grown and his wife will have found a new man years earlier. If he gets bail, I’ll bet $$ to donuts that he runs.

    (13) 17 Total Votes - 15 up - 2 down
    • kayaknut says:

      You’re probably right. He knows he could deal with 4.5 years but not 14. Plus Tamara would likely stick around for 4.5 years, she knows where Kelly hid the money and when he got out after 4.5 years he come after her if she took it all, but not at 14 years. Like you said he’d be 70 and likely unable to track her down plus by then she would have used up a lot more of the hidden money. We also have to know Kelly likely hid the money in several places and only he knows them all.

      (10) 14 Total Votes - 12 up - 2 down
  3. Skitters dog says:

    He is probably appealing based on length of sentence.I thought original maximum sentence could have been 300 years or something.Why not give him that?? Call it a bonus for outright screwing over honest,hardworking and hard saving people.Have fun in prison SCUMBAG !!

    (26) 30 Total Votes - 28 up - 2 down
  4. Bluebird says:

    Think of how much this is costing the taxpayer – jury trial, FBI investigation, prosecuting attorney, defense attorney, court
    time and all the people involved with that, appeals and I probably missed a few.
    Wonder how much he paid in taxes?

    (19) 21 Total Votes - 20 up - 1 down
    • Paso_Guy says:

      There was a jury trial? I thought he took a plea bargain.

      (17) 19 Total Votes - 18 up - 1 down
  5. Pelican1 says:

    Hey Kelly, when you knowingly defrauded millions from your victims, did you then grant them any kind of appeal. You should be given the same consideration.

    (42) 46 Total Votes - 44 up - 2 down
  6. CentralcoastRN says:

    Now they can go after the wife too, maybe find some very smart forensic accountants to find that missing money.

    (41) 49 Total Votes - 45 up - 4 down
  7. Mike Byrd says:

    By appealing his own guilty plea is he suggesting that he lied to the judge when he said he was guilty? Is that not perjury?

    (31) 39 Total Votes - 35 up - 4 down
  8. dogeatdog says:

    Plead guilty then ask for an appeal, you really are white trash Gearhart.

    Maybe he is doing this because they would not let him say goodbye to his wife and kids before being hauled off to prison.

    And I am sure he will complain about the food, his bed, and his roommates too, but to bad so sad.

    He still is not taking responsibility for his actions, and so let him sit in prison until he appeal, why should he be able to enjoy freedom after what he did to so many people?

    (45) 49 Total Votes - 47 up - 2 down
  9. scoopone says:

    Please Judge, don’t release him on bail. And CCN, please drop all news about this
    scumbag….I’m sick of seeing his name in the headlines. If he kills himself, that would
    be good reading for me!!!

    (20) 40 Total Votes - 30 up - 10 down