A former real estate developer from the Central Coast could face up to 50 years in federal prison, after entering guilty pleas to wire fraud, and money laundering charges.
Prosecutors say Kelly Gearhart bilked investors out of as much as $20 million dollars, by convincing them to invest in a real estate project. However, they say as part of a plea deal, the former Atascadero resident admitted in court he had actually sold lots which other investors thought were being used to secure their loans.
The federal prosecutors say they are seeking an 11 year sentence for Gearhart,, who had most recently been living in Ohio. The 53 year old man will be sentenced in December.