Paso Robles lenders arrested on multiple fraud charges

March 14, 2013


Heritage Lending principals Candy Wells and her husband Ronald Wells were arrested Tuesday on seven felony charges. The court has set their bail at $2.5 million each.

Prosecutors from the San Luis Obispo County District Attorney’s office charged the Wells with running a scheme to defraud, grand theft and the fraudulent sale of securities. Oceanside police officers arrested the Wells Tuesday evening and booked them into the San Diego County Jail where they await transport back to San Luis Obispo County.

Enticed by the promise of 11 to 12 percent interest through property-secured investments, investors entrusted their nest eggs with Heritage Lending, a hard money lending company.

Hard money loans are based on the value of the underlying asset rather than borrowers’ credit rating. It works if the lender finances no more than 60 to 70 percent of the project and makes payments to contractors as the work progresses. The Wells allegedly failed to monitor projects, used funds for their personal use and were not properly licensed.

In Oct. 2009, the Wells filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy protection claiming total assets of $854,843 and liabilities of nearly $3.8 million. At the time, Candy Wells blamed Heritage Lending’s downfall on a lawsuit filed by Henrik Nielsen.

According to Nielsen’s suit, Candy Wells did not have a broker’s license. The suit also accused the Wells of utilizing investor funds for private use. Nielsen had invested more than $4 million with Heritage Financial.

On Monday, prosecutors filed a temporary restraining order placing the Wells personal assets under court jurisdiction. A “source of bail” motion was also filed to allow time for authorities to ascertain that funds used for bail are not tainted.




  1. Robert1 says:

    Had one business dealing with Candy, she lied right to my face and attempted to cover up the excess charges on the escrow papers. I made her remove the charges and never did business with her again,once a cheating lying thief, always a cheating lying thief.

    (32) 32 Total Votes - 32 up - 0 down
  2. r0y says:

    $2.5 million dollars bail EACH? Too bad they didn’t steal drugs from evidence lockup, and force people at gunpoint (and in uniform) to sell said stolen drugs… they could have saved $2.440 million each in bail amounts!

    (24) 42 Total Votes - 33 up - 9 down
    • MaryMalone says:

      More often than not, Roy, we disagree with each others’ opinions. However, this time I am in complete agreement with your comment.

      It absolutely sticks in my craw that Cory Pierce got special treatment with his bail. What was the judge thinking when he specified such a low amount of Pierce’s bail?

      It will be a long time before I stop comparing the amount of bail of the Perp d’jour here at CCN with the amount of bail for Cory Pierce. So far, in every comparison I’ve made, Pierce got a relatively free ride, bail-wise, compared to other perps.

      (16) 26 Total Votes - 21 up - 5 down
    • marc says:

      Have the assets of the crooked cop been seized? Have authorities purposely not filed drug charges thereby allowing the crook to avoid seizure? Don’t the same authorities usually seize a person’s assets when drugs are involved even when the alleged circumstances are much more tame?

      (22) 26 Total Votes - 24 up - 2 down
      • The Gimlet Eye says:

        Good questions.

        Not if he works with or in “Black Ops.”

        (2) 6 Total Votes - 4 up - 2 down
  3. hotdog says:

    And what about the biggest crooks to invade our county, HFC’s miller, courtney brard and their henchman gearhead? They stole over $125,000,000! Still free, still out there after over 5 years of admitted guilt. What a travesty our system is in some cases. The lawyers are making a killing, the victims are biting the dust.

    (69) 71 Total Votes - 70 up - 1 down
    • BeenThereDoneThat says:

      Well you know the old saying, the wheels of justice grind slowly. In this case the tires are rotting from sitting so long.

      (46) 46 Total Votes - 46 up - 0 down
    • Al says:

      Jay Miller continues to get his sentencing postponed, 6 months at a time. It really is outrageous.

      (55) 57 Total Votes - 56 up - 1 down
    • sw2725 says:

      that’s what im saying you would think these people committed murder with that type of bail that’s ok what goes around come around they havenbt been charged with anything yet yeah so they were arrested they can still get out

      (1) 11 Total Votes - 6 up - 5 down
    • rockhound1965 says:

      Because a whole bunch of people at the top of SLO County were friends with Miller, Gearhart, and their ilk. Everyone wants to be a player in this county. To be a “mover and a shaker” in this county, you have to run with the “big dogs”. People who ran with those dogs don’t want to chase them down. No matter what their job title is, or what their job duty is supposed to be.
      Are you listening Mr. D.A.? Anyone at the Tribune still awake on the job? Didn’t think so.

      (37) 39 Total Votes - 38 up - 1 down
    • cheseburger says:

      Hotdog June 12th 2013, I am going to try to poke her with a (Default judgement), that is if I can find the little tart! She can collect cans and pay me $50 a month for the rest of her life, I’ll supply the shopping cart!
      Anybody know were she is?????? ,
      I need service here! For real, I need an address where she can be served!

      (10) 14 Total Votes - 12 up - 2 down
      • Citizen says:

        The Oceanside Police know where they live. See if their police report or police log has the address.

        (6) 6 Total Votes - 6 up - 0 down
        • hotdog says:

          Chese is talking about the crook Courtney Brard, miller’s daughter (Hurst).

          (5) 5 Total Votes - 5 up - 0 down
      • sw2725 says:

        sad that you can talk so badly about someones parents and grandparents why dont you think about what your saying how your trying to ruin a name

        (-12) 12 Total Votes - 0 up - 12 down
        • 805code4 says:

          Nobody is trying to ruin anything that was not already ruined before. If you are operating as a credited business such as Heritage Lending for example, you are responsible for the handling of money entrusted to you, and these are LARGE amounts that disappeared. People’s life savings that may also have children and grandchildren or even great grandchildren. These people may have even sacrificed many luxuries and lived poorly to save what they invested in Heritage Lending. Those are only possibilities that may not even be the case at all, but the principal of the matter is simple: People invested large amounts of money in good faith and could not get it back for whatever reason or excuse. After a while, you must assume that you have been embezzled, and the victims should not be blamed for expressing their disappointment. Think very carefully about Karma, and what may have caused this. But don’t take it personally Sarah

          (10) 10 Total Votes - 10 up - 0 down
          • sw2725 says:

            Never said I took it personal I’m all for getting in trouble if there’s something to get in trouble for and yes karma is MF but for staters investors take risk investing good and bad and nothing bad was ever done at this company I should know ….people shouldn’t post comments that have no clue and this artical makes me laugh cause it barley has any facts in it they pulled most of it out there behinds I should also know that but it’s ok we have everything we need ……

            (-8) 8 Total Votes - 0 up - 8 down
            • DemandTransparency says:

              For “staters”, I’m sorry Sarah, but I ‘barley’ can read your writing. This ‘artical’ has nothing but facts.

              Maybe if it was written in gibberish, apparently the language you and a few other North County folk converse in, as evidenced by your, and their, (lack of ) writing skills, you and your neighbors could hold a meaningful conversation in order to be understood. And nothing about my reading, observation or personal opinion was pulled “out there [sic] behinds.”

              Behinds, backwards, simpleton. Let us live in the now, the forward, the world of education, if you please.

              Until we finally enjoy a shared language, you, sadly come across as a simpleton trying to communicate in baby talk while the rest of us use language to communicate grown-up thoughts and ideas.

              You make me shudder as I parse your post. Lets not ever have to do that again, okay?

              (7) 9 Total Votes - 8 up - 1 down
          • sw2725 says:

            Just to let you know just cause you know my name if you think that scared me your sadly mistaken

            (-10) 10 Total Votes - 0 up - 10 down
            • 805code4 says:

              I completely know and understand how mere allegations can lead anyone to say or believe just about anything with a little imagination, and a lot of anger…and the extent of the punishment (deserved or not) is unlimited when people do not take the time to understand the facts and circumstances with applied logic and empathy. I did not want to create any more discomfort for you. God knows you have had plenty already, as have I. But seriously think about karma. Then think about the ranch and all the lies, and who they affect.

              (1) 1 Total Votes - 1 up - 0 down
    • Willow says:

      The “biggest crooks to invade our county” is commonly known as “the Federal Reserve Bank”. Tell me, who else can get away with printing money out of thin air, charge the American taxpayers for printing it, and then turn around and “loans” it to The People at interest? The biggest fraud scheme I ever heard of – making a worthless currency and then charging for its use. Wake up, America. The rest of the world is. The banksters are running the world into the ground. I hear the greedy banksters in Greece are fleecing 10% of everyone’s retirement accounts to pay off a debt that’s completely created out of thin air – just like the money and so-called “interest” is!!!

      (1) 5 Total Votes - 3 up - 2 down
  4. BeenThereDoneThat says:

    So this begs the question, will ANYBODY EVER AGAIN invest in hard money lending? I am NOT saying that the people involved in investing deserved this, I am just saying that the principal lenders involved in most of these, seem good at defrauding people and that if this industry, while it may have honest ones, is worth the risk for a individual to invest in.

    (21) 23 Total Votes - 22 up - 1 down
    • Randy Sheila says:

      Hard money lending can be a decent and honest business with all parties VERY satisfied. But the loans and distribution of funds to developers and builders must be monitored by professionals who understand their responsibilities and are willing to withhold funds for incomplete and unfinished work, i.e. tell your client “no $$” if he can’t show that investors’ money is being spent on improvements and increasing value – not necessarily an easy thing to do. All of us had great returns on our investments and the few times that properties became “distressed” our lender paid everyone out of their own pocket before legal resolution released the dollar value via auction.

      (22) 22 Total Votes - 22 up - 0 down
  5. Pelican1 says:

    they sound like good prospective candidates for Paso City government employment. they seem to have ALL the necessary qualifications.

    (38) 42 Total Votes - 40 up - 2 down
    • kayaknut says:

      They could probably send resumes to several cities, San Luis Obispo, Atascadero, Grover Beach and Arroyo Grande all seem to like to have people with their talents

      (24) 28 Total Votes - 26 up - 2 down
      • jimmy_me says:

        Based on these people ethics, their resumes must include stints as cal poly administrators.

        (16) 20 Total Votes - 18 up - 2 down

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