Trial for Kelly Gearhart, ex-Atascadero developer charged with fraud, pushed to June

tstrickland@thetribunenews.comFebruary 6, 2013 

Kelly Gearhart stands in front of the Printery building in Atascadero in 2005.

JOE JOHNSTON — jjohnston@thetribunenews.com Buy Photo

Former Atascadero developer Kelly Gearhart’s trial in U.S. District Court in Los Angeles has been pushed from Jan. 29 to June 11, according to court documents.

U.S. District Court judge Otis Wright granted the extension to Gearhart’s defense counsel to give “the reasonable time necessary for effective preparation,” the ruling says.

The court has also scheduled a pretrial status conference for May 28.

Gearhart pleaded not guilty in August to 16 counts of federal crimes in an alleged scheme to defraud investors. He’s not in custody because he made bail last summer.

The charges against him include fraud and money laundering.

An eight-page indictment outlines the scheme Gearhart is alleged to have used by soliciting loans from victims by falsely saying he owned specific land that would secure their investments. He told investors the loans would be paid back with interest, according to the indictment, and that specific lots would be sold back to investors, which he promised to rent. He then sold the same lots to multiple buyers, the indictment indicates.

The court's original trial date was Oct. 9, 2012.

The Tribune is pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news. Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere in the site or in the newspaper. We encourage lively, open debate on the issues of the day, and ask that you refrain from profanity, hate speech, personal comments and remarks that are off point. Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.

Commenting FAQs | Terms of Service