Bankrupt Nampa broker sentenced to prison

Associated Press Published: June 12, 2012

CALDWELL, Idaho (AP) — A former Nampa real estate broker who pleaded guilty to grand theft rather than face trial on allegations he took more than $400,000 from business clients has been sentenced to 14 years in prison.

Jerry Gunstream, 62, was sentenced Monday in 3rd District Court and must serve a minimum of at least two years. He had sought probation based on his having no previous felony convictions and did not pose a risk to the community.

"The factors that favor prison outweigh the factors that favor probation," Judge Thomas Ryan said. "A penitentiary sentence is appropriate in this case, Mr. Gunstream. That's now your debt to society."

He was credited with 137 days he's served in the Canyon County Jail. His attorney called that self-punishment because Gunstream could have met the $10,000 bond.

"There hasn't been a day that I haven't thought, and cried, and wondered how I could have done what I did," Gunstream said. "How I could have turned my back on everything I stood for, how I could have disgraced my family and ruined my reputation."

Gunstream pleaded guilty to grand theft in April. He told investigators he transferred money out of tenants' accounts when he needed it to cover his own expenses because his income from real estate sales had declined. He reported $2.1 million in debt when filing for bankruptcy.

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