Trial for Kelly Gearhart, ex-Atascadero developer, moved to February

ppemberton@thetribunenews.comOctober 25, 2013 

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

JOE JOHNSTON — jjohnston@thetribunenews.com Buy Photo

A trial for a former Atascadero builder charged with fraud has been moved to February, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office.

Kelly Gearhart’s trial had been set for November, but is now slated to begin Feb. 18, said Thom Mrozek, public affairs officer for the U.S. Attorney’s Office.

Gearhart, a former Citizen of the Year in Atascadero, has pleaded not guilty to several counts of fraud. Federal prosecutors allege that he was involved in a Ponzi-like scheme involving real estate projects that weren’t built. His trial is scheduled to take place at a federal court in Los Angeles.

Jay Miller of Hurst Financial was also charged in the case. After pleading guilty to four counts of fraud and money laundering, Miller is set to be sentenced March 17.

Some of Gearhart’s North County properties were auctioned off last week. According to the Paso Robles Daily News, North County developer John Wilson offered the highest bid — $1.7 million — for Gearhart’s Links at Vista Del Hombre.

Wilson’s other projects have included the SLO Promenade Shopping Center in San Luis Obispo and Mission Oaks Shopping Center in Atascadero.

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