Paso Robles restaurant owner charged with defrauding elderly woman

February 7, 2014

robert'sThe owner of Robert’s Restaurant and Wine Bar in Paso Robles is accused of stealing a 17-acre Templeton property from a 99-year-old woman. [KSBY]

Restaurant owner Robert Clouston was arraigned in San Luis Obispo Superior Court Thursday on felony fraud charges. Court documents accuse Clouston, who pleaded not guilty, of committing theft, embezzlement, forgery and identity theft of a 99-year-old woman.

The criminal complaint states that in June 2008 Clouston removed the 17-acre parcel from a trust he jointly owned with the elderly woman and placed it in an LLC without her knowledge. Clouston has sole ownership of the LLC.

The woman learned of the property transfer in November 2011 when a San Luis Obispo County Tax Assessor’s Office worker said that a reappraisal occurred due to the transfer.

After the transfer, Clouston allegedly took out two hard money loans against the property. He first borrowed $425,000 against the property to pay off bills and development fees. He then took out more than $500,000 and spent it on his own business ventures, according to the complaint.

Clouston claimed in court Thursday that the trust agreement granted him the authority to make the transactions.

The next hearing in the case is scheduled for March 18.


21 Comments

  1. bmundee says:

    As one of my best friends though elementary and high schools, Clouston soon became an ex-friend after he sued me back in 2001. I paid him off just to get rid of him. Over the next 10 years, he was in litigation with at least two wineries for construction related issues. I believe he lost his contractors license and then went into the restaurant business. Perhaps his true colors are beginning to show for all to see. Its too bad, because I have known the rest of his family for decades, and they are great people. I hope justice will be served.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 26 Thumb down 0

  2. Cindy says:

    Apart from the obvious wrong doing, I can’t help but think…….

    This lady is 99 years old. God Bless her but why didn’t he just wait a bit longer? I suppose he had been waiting for a long time come to think of it !

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 12 Thumb down 5

    • pasoparent5 says:

      Greed, pure and simple.

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 17 Thumb down 0

      • Cindy says:

        Yes I recognize that he is greedy and I find his behavior despicable but to the extent that he did what he did, again, this lady is 99 years old and it wasn’t going to be a long time before it would have been legally his. The greed is beyond comprehension, that is my point.

        Like or Dislike: Thumb up 9 Thumb down 0

  3. Mrpaso says:

    This is like drug problem, homeless problem, pedophiles and bad people running business. We as a community don’t do anything about it. We need to stand up for what we believe in as people. My parents generation would run these people out of town. Now we complain for a minute and are too busy with life, netfix, google, and facebook. This is uprooting us as a community. Best of all drove by and the restaurant didn’t have an empty seat. That’s great people help the lawyer fund. Let’s wait for the next od, car chase, or rapist so we can start the complaints all over again.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 21 Thumb down 7

    • MaryMalone says:

      REALLY?

      You lump homeless people in with the same scrum as pedophiles and the soul-less POS Clouston who ripped off a 99-year-old woman of what sounds like close to $1million in property and loans?

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 19 Thumb down 7

      • Mrpaso says:

        Sorry for offending the true homeless population. I understand their pain. I was referring to the people with sign on Niblick, the ones who are breaking into cars in the downtown area, and the ones who are using illicit drugs.

        Like or Dislike: Thumb up 18 Thumb down 3

    • pasoparent5 says:

      Well said, Mrpaso.

      But sadly these days Paso doesn’t “run these people out of town;” one of ‘em even got a nice quarter of a million dollar payout of taxpayer funds because she claimed her reputation was tarnished.

      And look at Weyrich, Gearhart, the Yagudas and others. They’re still living pretty well…owning businesses, with decent homes…

      Hopefully Mr. Clouston will be justly tried and convicted but considering how other North County crooks have escaped justice, I wouldn’t count on it.

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 17 Thumb down 2

  4. NorthCountyGuy says:

    This shady opportunist reminds me of a former BIL who embezzled funds from my late mother’ s estate by illegally forging her next-of-kin’s signature.

    Opportunists who prey on the elderly deserve to be hung by the neck until dead.

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 36 Thumb down 0

  5. Juan Motime says:

    There is a special place in hell for those who abuse children, animals, and the ELDERLY! And the beat goes on.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 32 Thumb down 2

    • SnakePliskin says:

      “The doctrine of eternal punishment is in perfect harmony with the savagery of the men who made the orthodox creeds. It is in harmony with torture, with flaying alive, and with burnings. The men who burned their fellow-men for a moment, believed that God would burn his enemies forever.”
      — Robert Green Ingersoll

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 1

  6. Citizen says:

    Heritage Oaks Bank needs to be shut down. Kelly Gearhart, Wyrick, Guth andYaguda, all got their loans from HOB. They seem to be involved in every shady deal in town.

    The Trust named is the Ray and Elizabeth Nelson Trust. Relatives of Clouston????

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 33 Thumb down 3

  7. isoslo says:

    What a slime ball

    I will not patronize any of his establishments

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 51 Thumb down 0

  8. prgirl says:

    Dave, actually their third. He runs Estrella Restaurant in Paso too.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 27 Thumb down 0

  9. Dave says:

    This is the guy who is presently converting the old JJ’s in the Village of Arroyo Grande into a second restaurant. It will be interesting to see how this publicity affects that operation.

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 44 Thumb down 0

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