San Luis Obispo developers accused of swindling investors

May 14, 2020

John Belsher and Ryan Petetit


A former investor and partner of San Luis Obispo based developers John Belsher and Ryan Wright recently filed a lawsuit against the pair accusing them of swindling him out of $700,000 through a double escrow scheme.

The lawsuit, filed by Tayor Judkins on April 24, accuses Belsher and Wright of fraud, misrepresentation, breach of judiciary duty and breach of a promissory note. Belsher, Wright (previously known as Ryan Petetit) and their PB Companies drew in multiple commercial lenders and private parties to invest in their projects, a handful of whom have sued them for alleged financial misdeeds.

In 2015, Belsher, Wright and Judkins forged a partnership, Marsh-Higuera Mixed Use LLC, which purchased buildings at 545 Higuera Street and 486 Marsh Street. While in escrow to purchase the two properties from Coast National Bank, Belsher and Wright solicited Judkins to invest $1 million and become a partner in a limited liability company allegedly in escrow to purchase the property from the bank for $4 million.

However, Belsher and Wright had created two companies: Marsh Higuera LLC and Higuera/Coast LLC. In both writing and orally, Belsher and Wright misrepresented “that Marsh Higuera LLC was purchasing the property directly from Coast National Bank,” according to the lawsuit.

On July 31, 2015, Higuera/Coast LLC purchased the properties from Coast National Bank for $3.3 million and concurrently sold the properties to Marsh Higuera LLC for $4 million.

“This concurrent ‘double escrow’ allowed Higuera/Coast LLC to use Plaintiffs’ funds to purchase the property and, at the same time allowed Defendants to bank the $700,000 difference between the property’s actual purchase price and the price paid by Plaintiffs,” according to the lawsuit. “Belsher, self-identifying as Marsh Higuera LLC’s attorney and trusted fiduciary, represented Marsh Higuera LLC’s legal interests in the transaction. Defendants knew their representations were false, intentionally deceived plaintiffs and actively concealed the true facts from the plaintiffs.”

In addition, Judkins accuses Belsher and Wright of fraudulently leasing out the building at 545 Higuera Street and then collecting more than $250,000 in rent.

Without Judkins’ knowledge, Belsher filed a statement of information with the Secretary of State listing PB Companies as Marsh-Higuera’s manager, even though PB Companies is not a manager or an owner of Marsh-Higuera.

On Sept. 30, 2015, Wright, who had no ownership in Marsh-Higuera, leased the building at 545 Higuera Street to Mosaic Business Services for $7,875 a month. Payments were sent to PB Companies on Higuera Street, according to court records.

Judkins is seeking restitution with interest and punitive damages.

Despite having multiple bankruptcies, tax liens and lawsuits accusing the pair of fraud, for years Wright and Belsher appeared to be enjoying the high life. They regularly rented private jets, traveled overseas and attended national sports events, while unable to pay investors.

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When FBI keeps getting involved with San Luis Obispo county cases like the Rapist Paso Cop cover up by Dan Dow, the Brazenly open bribes to government officials by Marijuana Dispensary owners, or Adam Hills many unchecked years of criminal enterprise, it just might be a sign

that these elected officials are in it for themselves. Besides voting themselves pay raises. Pigs at the trough. Obvious, Right?

Yet here we are again.

Look at those two! Anybody that trusts them with their money almost deserves to be swindled.

The Tribune and KSBY, after consultation with City of SLO, will not run this story in the interest of, well, the City of SLO, John Belsher and Ryan Petitite. Call me if you want, as Paul Harvey put it, “the rest of the story”.

Same response as to the story on corruption at Cal Poly – almost as big of a surprise as finding out that water is wet or that the earth is not flat. Even a blind person in a black room with the lights turned off could see this scheme for what it is. But since Belsher and Petetit (or Wright) are close compatriots with Adam Hill (an excellent tutor of corruption); it is not a big surprise that very little has been done so far.

Is it just the Central Coast or does this type of stuff go on all over this state and country? My vote is for the later.

Bet they aren’t smiling now…

I think they will be smiling. They conduct open corruption in league with SLO City employees. A huge investigation could be done into these dealings, the bulldozing of dirt into SLO Creek, known and ignored by the City, illegal work in the creek, known and ignored by the City. City employees even trespassed onto neighboring properties, afraid of offending Belcher, to see what was going on and subsequently ignored it. I can put you in touch with all my sources, and tell you who was doing the work.

Haven’t you all run this same story every 6 months for the past 5 years?

Face it… enforcement isn’t going to do anything. Zero. Zip.

I’m sure you know why.

Begins with the letter “c”.

Further proof that developers are the most vile of human beings on this planet and for the rest of my days here in beautiful SLO County I’m going to do everything in my power to make sure not a single square foot of open space is ever developed on again because only a few every benefit from it and so many suffer.

And spare me your b.s. “Supply and Demand” argument regarding housing, every ahole in the world wants to move here so supply’s never going to be enough and with each new home built that’s more space taken away and more people to make the rest of our lives more miserable here.

Go away developers and try to turn another place into the Bay Area or L.A.

Why would a smart person invest in a LLC (Lotsa Luck Charlie)? Once while helping my plumber uncle Rocky, I tripped over a shove and almost fell into the open septic tank. As I approached the opening I swear I learned to fly to miss the plunge. Even a kid knows that if you fall into a septic tank you’ll come out smelling like sh#t.