Once honored as an Atascadero “Citizen of the Year,” real estate developer Kelly Gearhart, 53, was sentenced to the maximum 14 years in prison for defrauding investors who lost over $15 million on his development projects.
Federal Los Angeles Judge Otis Wright imposed a harsher sentence than the government had requested for Gearhart, who pleaded guilty last year to wire fraud and money laundering. The judge noted that many were elderly investors who had lost everything due to Gearhart’s “sheer greed.”
In his plea agreement with prosecutors, Gearhart admitted selling the same lots to multiple investors doing the same to get bank financing.
Read the original story in the San Luis Obispo Tribune.