Biz Buzz: Complaint filed against The Home Depot by Gearhart bankruptcy trustee

In yet another twist in the complicated bankruptcy case of Atascadero developer Kelly Gearhart, bankruptcy trustee Harold Corzin has filed a complaint against the national hardware retailer Home Depot on behalf of Gearhart and his creditors.

According to the complaint filed Dec. 10 in the Ohio division of the U.S. Bankruptcy Court, Gearhart advanced payment of $250,000 for a sewer for the store in Atascadero. Home Depot agreed to repay Gearhart if the city reimbursed the store instead of Gearhart for the sewer.

Corzin has since discovered that Atascadero did in fact reimburse the store at least in part, with a check for $62,700, but the store kept the money instead of reimbursing Gearhart as promised, he states.

“These funds were property of Gearhart and upon the filing of the bankruptcy petition in this case became property of the bankruptcy estate subject to turnover to the Trustee,” the complaint reads.

The trustee is also seeking an unspecified amount of additional money from Home Depot in damages, including reasonable interest on the funds “wrongfully withheld from the Debtor,” Corzin added.

The attorney representing Home Depot told The Tribune she had not been authorized to speak on the case by her client and therefore could not comment.

— Melanie Cleveland

Framberger Employee Benefits and Insurance Services recently moved its offices from 694 Santa Rosa St. to 1920 Broad St., near downtown San Luis Obispo.

Owned and operated by Connie Framberger since 1979, the business offers health, disability and life insurance services to individuals and groups.

— Julia Hickey