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Update: Atascadero man found guilty of fraud to serve less time due to judicial error 

Update posted July 10, 6 a.m. 

Former Atascadero “Citizen of the Year” and man found guilty of defrauding investors of millions of dollars Kelly Gearhart will serve five years less than expected in federal prison due to a judicial error in his sentencing, according to a report by the Tribune.

Gearhart, whose last city of residence was Wadsworth, Ohio, argued in his appeal that the District Court judge erred when he was sentenced to 14 years for three charges when the statutory maximum he should have faced was 10 years. On June 10, U.S. District Court Judge Otis D. Wright II re-sentenced Gearhart to a total of 108 months, or, nine years.

Read the full story on the Tribune here. 

 

Update posted Sept 7, 8 a.m.

Update: Atascadero man found guilty of fraud eligible for reduced sentence

–A federal court granted an appeal by Kelly Gearhart, a former Atascadero “Citizen of the Year” who was sentenced to 14 years in prison for defrauding investors of millions of dollars they had put into failed development projects, reports say.

Gearhart will have another hearing to determine the amount of restitution that he will need to pay his victims, and the appeal will also look at what Gearhart’s attorney called a “procedural error,” in that the maximum sentence for one single charge of money laundering is 10 years. Gearhart was sentenced to three counts, which he was to serve concurrently.

A re-sentencing hearing date has not yet been set, though a status conference is scheduled for Nov. 20.

Last update posted July 2, 2015

Former Atascadero ‘Citizen of the Year’ given 14 years for fraud

Kelly Gearhart plead guilty last year to wire fraud and money launderingPrison

– A former California real estate developer who was once honored as Atascadero’s Citizen of the Year was sentenced by a Los Angeles federal judge today to 14 years in prison for defrauding investors of millions of dollars they had put into failed development projects, reports say.

Kelly Gearhart, 53, who now lives in Ohio, plead guilty last year to wire fraud and money laundering as part of a plea agreement with prosecutors. Gearhart cheated more than 250 investors out of at least $15 million, reports say.

Gearhart was given the title of Atascadero Citizen of the Year in 2006, according to reports. A restitution hearing is set for Oct. 20.

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About the author: News Staff

News staff of the Paso Robles Daily News wrote and edited this story from local contributors and press releases. Scott Brennan is the publisher of this newspaper and founder of Access Publishing. Connect with him on Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, or follow his blog. He can be reached at scott@pasoroblesdailynews.com.