CalCoastNews Series

Estate Financial of Atascadero (defunct)

Estate Financial Inc of Atascadero, principals Joshua Yaguda and Karen Guth.
Three former employees of now defunct Estate Financial Inc. (EFI) claim they witnessed fraudulent behavior while employed at the Paso Robles hard money lending firm.
On 7 Dec, 2009 San Luis Obispo Superior Court Judge Jac Crawford sentenced Estate Financial, Inc. principal Karen Guth to 12 years in prison and Joshua Yaguda to eight years for fraudulently selling securities without the proper licenses, lying to investors and stealing or destroying property worth $3.2 million. Guth and Yaguda pleaded guilty in October to 26 felony counts after Crawford offered a plea

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Estate Financial chiefs’ arraignments postponed

By THE EDITORS San Luis Obispo Superior Court Judge Jac Crawford Monday agreed to continue the arraignment of Estate Financial Inc. principles Karen Guth and her son Joshua Yaguda on 26 felony charges to Nov. 21. Irvine-based attorney Dyke Huish requested the delay to allow time to retain and brief a second defense attorney. Crawford also granted Guth and Yaguda access to... (Continue Reading)

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Estate Financial investors have chance to claim assets

By KAREN VELIE Estate Financial Inc. investors have just 30 days to file any claim to assets belonging to EFI principals Karen Guth and her son Joshua Yaguda, according to a financial notice posted by the San Luis Obispo District Attorney’s Office Oct. 24. " “The property and assets subject to the above described proceedings includes all property and assets in the... (Continue Reading)

STAKEOUT CONFIDENTIAL: Seeing Guth and Yaguda in handcuffs

By THE EDITORS Law enforcement plans to grab Estate Financial Inc.’s principals some time Thursday raced through the investor community like rumors of rain during a drought. So we knew what was going to happen, we knew who, why, and where. But exactly when? That piece of information was missing.... (Continue Reading)

EFI ‘s Guth, Yaguda arrested on multiple fraud charges

By KAREN VELIE and DANIEL BLACKBURN Beleaguered Estate Financial Inc. (EFI) principals Karen Guth and her son Joshua Yaguda were arrested Thursday morning on 26 felony charges. A parade of a dozen San Luis Obispo County Sheriff, District Attorney, and state vehicles roared into the Pasolivo Olive grounds at 10:15 a.m. armed with arrest and search warrants. Before they were handcuffed and taken... (Continue Reading)

EFI UPDATE: Corporate criminals?

By KAREN VELIE and DANIEL BLACKBURN In an attempt to explain the ongoing financial calamity created by Estate Financial Inc. (EFI), trustees recently held a meeting in which they frequently used the “F” word (fraud) and appeared to explain an apparent Ponzi scheme without dropping the “P” word. EFI is one of at least four San Luis Obispo County hard money... (Continue Reading)

EFI trustees: Piggys at the trough?

By KAREN VELIE and DANIEL BLACKBURN Trustees working the Estate Financial Inc. (EFI) collapse – including a pair retained by the failed lender – want nearly a quarter-million dollars for their efforts during the past month and a half. That includes $10,400 for two round trips by car from San Francisco to Paso Robles.... (Continue Reading)

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Divorce allows peek between EFI’s sheets

By DANIEL BLACKBURN and KAREN VELIE It took an acrimonious divorce and a protracted asset scrap to finally address the big question for investors in Paso Robles’ Estate Financial Inc.: Where did their money go? Now, EFI principal Karen Guth has answered at least part of that question in the midst of her contentious court battle over marital assets with ex-husband and... (Continue Reading)

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Judge ices EFI fund property sale proceeds

By KAREN VELIE and DANIEL BLACKBURN A federal judge presiding over Estate Financial Inc. (EFI) bankruptcy hearings declined Tuesday to authorize disbursement of funds from a pending sale of investment property from the troubled lender’s portfolio. U.S. District Court Judge Robin Riblet instead ordered proceeds from the sale placed in a segregated account to allow trustees time to weed through a mountain... (Continue Reading)

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Law reported closing in on EFI principals

By KAREN VELIE and DANIEL BLACKBURN Local and federal law enforcement agencies are investigating Estate Financial Inc. (EFI) and a criminal case is said to be “moving forward” even as a battalion of interested parties scrap over control of the failing hard money lender in federal bankruptcy court. Federal Secret Service agents, who had commenced a parallel probe into the Paso Robles’... (Continue Reading)

EFI investors, creditors planning participation

By DANIEL BLACKBURN Investors, builders, and creditors misled by Paso Robles hard money lender Estate Financial Inc. (EFI) are forming a pair of “advisory” committees to participate in an upcoming series of bankruptcy hearings and related actions promising to be both complex and convoluted. Meeting privately Tuesday at the Carlton Hotel in Atascadero, 53 people financially entwined with the sinking financial institution... (Continue Reading)