David and Mary Weyrich wanted, alive
March 8, 2016
By KAREN VELIE
Missing the days of wanted posters and rewards? After seven years of attempting to collect a debt, a San Luis Obispo based attorney is offering a $2,500 reward for information leading to the apprehension and service of process on David and Mary Weyrich.
If only one of the Weyrichs is served with an order to attend a debtors exam, the tipster, who will remain anonymous, earns $1,250, according to attorney Christopher Lewi.
Following a judgment, a creditor can ask debtors to appear in court to answer questions under oath about their assets or property.
If you do not remember the Weyrichs, the couple spent more than $100 million they collected from the 1998 sale of a business previously owned by Mary Weyrich’s father. After garnering the windfall, David Weyrich proceeded to dabble in a number of risky business ventures including newspapers, the development business, wine making, hotels, and jet leasing.
Many of Weyrich’s business ventures failed because of management issues. For example, in 1999, the Weyrichs founded the now-defunct Gazette Newspaper chain, an enterprise of five weekly publications that were mailed to everyone in San Luis Obispo County.
A year later, a group of 12 reporters, editors, and one publisher dissolved their bonds with the fledgling paper after discovering Weyrich was using the news outlet to promote and advocate anti-gay and anti-abortion sentiments. Long-time journalists — used to having a wall between editorial content and management– refused to break long-standing journalistic rules of ethics.
Ten years later, the Weyrichs were borrowing cash from a number of sources under the assurances their money was temporarily tied up.
In 2008, Cliff Branch and Jim Smith loaned the Weyrichs $1.6 million which both parties agreed was a short-term business loan, personally guaranteed by both David and Mary Weyrich.
Shortly afterwards, numerous lawsuits were filed against the Weyrichs because they had failed to pay many of their debts.
Branch and Smith won a judgment through the San Luis Obispo County Superior Court against the Weyrichs in 2011, that now totals more than $2 million with accumulated interest.
In a 2013 debtors exam, David Weyrich claimed he and his wife no longer had any assets and no income. During the exam, Mary Weyrich spoke of how they scaled down from an 8,000 square foot nine-bedroom home to a 4,000 square foot four-bedroom house.
Branch and Smith believe the Weyrichs were not quite forth coming about their assets and income during their exam and are seeking to bring them back into court for another debtors exam.
But, the Weyrichs live a bi-coastal lifestyle, residing in at least three residences including the Carlton Hotel in Atascadero and a home on a large pond in Durham, North Carolina. For several years, the pair has been very successful at ducking process servers.
Several weeks ago, Branch sent letters to Weyrichs adult children informing them if their parents did not contact them regarding a proposal or a payment plan, a reward would be offered for information about their whereabouts. No one responded and Branch contacted his attorney Christopher Lewi.
“The first person who can supply me with the physical location of Mr. and Mrs. Weyrich, resulting in successful legal service (in California) on each of them will be entitled to a payment of $2,500; in the event only one of the two judgment debtors is successfully served, the reward will be $1,250 for successful service on that judgment debtor,” according to Christopher Lewi’s wanted poster.
In addition, Branch will pay 10 percent of any money recovered to the informants who give descriptions and locations of the couples assets.
“Several sources have told us that the Weyrichs frequently travel to North Carolina from a home in Ojai, California,” Branch wrote. “We also understand that David Weyrich visits the Carlton Hotel in Atascadero, which his family still oversees. We are simply trying to locate Mr. Weyrich and his wife Mary so we can serve them for another debtor’s exam, to be taken under oath, to better understand how they continue to maintain their lifestyle.”