Pasolivo is being sold to pay Estate Financial victims

A court-ordered sale is now under way for the Pasolivo olive oil business and its surrounding 131 acres to help pay back victims of the collapsed Paso Robles lender Estate Financial.

The sale is being conducted in two rounds, the first of which ended last week and was intended to qualify buyers, according to a fact sheet for prospective purchasers.

Potential buyers had to make an offer for the real estate portion of the purchase and show they have enough assets to buy both the property and the Pasolivo business.

County property records still list the property as being owned by Karen Guth, who was president of Estate Financial.

Guth and her son, Joshua Yaguda, were sentenced in December 2009 to 12 and eight years in state prison, respectively, for defrauding tens of millions of dollars from hundreds of the lender’s investors — most of whom were elderly — in a Ponzi scheme.

Pasolivo and its property were part of Guth’s personal assets, and proceeds of the sale would go toward paying back Estate Financial victims, said Andrew T. Feola, a vice president at Beverly Hills-based Geringer Capital, which is handling the transaction.

During court hearings in Guth and Yaguda’s fraud case, defense attorneys said the two had about $3.2 million in net worth, including $1 million personally invested in Estate Financial real estate, another $1 million in their Paso Robles office building, $120,000 in cash and the Pasolivo olive oil business.

The Pasolivo deal is being handled as a private sale, but eventually would go before a San Luis Obispo Superior Court judge for approval, Feola said.

During the first round of the sale, prospective buyers who have made “fair and reasonable offers for the real estate” would go on to the second round.

They would be furnished detailed financial information about the Pasolivo business, which is still operating at 8530 Vineyard Drive, west of Paso Robles.

During the second round, possible buyers are to make offers for the business portion of the deal, according to the fact sheet. Both the property and the business must be purchased together.

Feola said there is no timeline yet for the second round of the sale. He wouldn’t speculate on the potential value of the property and the business.

County property records show the 131-acre parcel, including a 4,000-square-foot home, a storage barn and a 2,000-square-foot manufactured home — still listed as owned by Guth — assessed at $1.4 million for property tax purposes.

The business, listed as Willow Creek Olive Oil LLC, is assessed at $403,000 for property tax purposes, according to county records.

Neither valuation necessarily reflects the potential market value of either portion of the sale.