SLO Bowling Alley Developer Rolls Gutter Ball

Written by Estero Bay News

February 23, 2023

A San Luis Obispo man, who rolled out a Downtown bowling alley project has rolled a gutter ball and been sentenced to State Prison on financial crimes.

The District Attorney’s Office announced that Jeremy Walter Pemberton, 38, was sentenced by Judge Timothy Covello to serve four years in prison for crimes he was convicted of in a December 2022 trial.

“White collar crime is a serious matter that often involves predatory practices against victims who are elderly and vulnerable,” said District Attorney Dan Dow. “I am proud of our special prosecutions unit that works hard to protect consumers and hold individuals and businesses accountable for their white collar crime.”

The criminal case against Pemberton “was based on evidence that Pemberton had made misrepresentations and omitted important material information during the course of fundraising efforts in 2017 for a proposed business project in San Luis Obispo.”

That project would have remodeled a former Sports Authority retail store in a large commercial space at the corner of Marsh and Chorro Streets. Pemberton was accused of misrepresenting to investors the amount of financing he had received from other investors and failed to disclose that his lease for the business project property was in default, the news release explained. 

“Pemberton’s plan was for his company, Discovery San Luis Obispo, to develop the site into a multi-use facility that included a bar, restaurant, and bowling alley,” the release said. “The project promoted by Pemberton was never completed.”

Indeed, the project was never even submitted to the City and essentially never went anywhere down the path of being approved and built.

At trial, “Pemberton was found guilty of felony securities fraud, financial elder abuse, and grand theft by false pretenses and the jury determined the theft crimes were in amount greater than $500,000,” the D.A.’s Office said.

Pemberton was remanded to the custody of the County Sheriff for transport to the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation. “He will be ordered to pay full restitution,” the news release said, “and a restitution status determination hearing is scheduled for May 23, 2023 in Dept. 1 of the SLO County Superior Court. But four years in prison doesn’t necessarily mean he’ll spend that much time behind bars.

“A sentence to state prison for a specified number of years,” the release said, “does not mean that the person will spend that amount of time incarcerated. Due to the complexity of California law regarding prison sentences and special credits for good behavior and participation in prison programs, it is impossible to predict how long the defendant will serve before being released back into the community.”

The District Attorney Bureau of Investigation investigated the case and Deputy D.D. Ken Jorgensen, who is assigned to the District Attorney’s Special Prosecutions Unit, was the prosecutor.

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