Kelly Gearhart wins sentencing hearing appeal

September 5, 2017

Kelly Gearhart

Former North County developer Kelly Gearhart will receive a new sentencing and restitution hearing after the Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that Judge Otis Wright II erred in sentencing Gearhart to 14 years in federal prison. In 2014, Gearhart pleaded guilty to real estate fraud. [Cal Coast Times]

In July 2015, Judge Wright sentenced Gearhart to 14 years each on two counts of wire fraud and one count of money laundering to be served concurrently.

The appellate court determined Judge Wright erred in sentencing Gearhart to 14 years for money laundering even though, by statute, the maximum term is 10 years. The appellate court also determined Judge Wright did not devote enough time on issues related to enhancements and a currently sealed restitution amount.

Even though Gearhart will receive a new hearing, he is not guaranteed his sentence or restitution requirements will be lowered. During the new hearing, Judge Wright has the option of sentencing Gearhart to consecutive jail terms and to expand victims to include those who invested on projects other than Vista del Hombre in Paso Robles.

Read entire article at Cal Coast Times.


10 years each for the three charges, as allowed by law, and served sequentially, seems reasonable.