With feds on his tail, SLO developer Wright allegedly started new scam

December 21, 2023

Ryan Petetit-Wright


While under a federal investigation into bribery and civil allegations of fraud, San Luis Obispo County developer Ryan Wright allegedly executed a scheme to defraud investors through a development project in Texas, according to a superseding indictment filed on Dec. 20.

FBI agents arrested Wright, 37, formerly known as “Ryan Petetit,” on Oct. 30 on a three-count indictment charging him with conspiracy, falsification of records and obstruction of justice. Wright and his partner and co-conspirator John Belsher’s business, PB Companies, allegedly paid nearly $100,000 in bribes and gifts to former SLO County Supervisor Adam Hill.

The superseding indictment includes 18 additional charges related to a proposed development in Texas, including wire fraud, bank fraud and access device fraud.

In the summer of 2021, Wright and two unnamed partners, referred to as partner one and partner two in the indictment, identified a ranch they wanted to purchase and develop in Dripping Springs, Texas.

Wright then solicited funds from investors in Los Angeles County and elsewhere with the promise that investor funds would be used to pay costs related to the acquisition and development of the ranch property.

From Jan. 2022 through Oct. 2022, Wright and his partners raised approximately $2 million from investors through a private placement memorandum, also know as an SEC Regulation D filing. The investors believed they were purchasing 30% interest in a company worth $31.5 million.

On Feb. 4, 2022, Wright entered into a commercial contract to purchase the Texas ranch for $6,350,000.

Wright and his partners, however, were unable to secure a loan and were forced to forfeit $312,000 in earnest money as liquidated damages.

Even so, Wright continued to represent to investors and government employees that he had successfully purchased the ranch. Wright even secured entitlements, through alleged false claims, for a project on land he did not own.

Mirroring his behaviors in SLO County, Wright allegedly lived the high-life on money others invested in his development projects.

In 2022 and 2023, Wright diverted investor funds to pay for personal items including a luxury Beverly Hills condominium, home furnishings, strip clubs, high-end restaurants, nightclubs, bars, airline tickets and hotels for holidays and recreation, sporting events, gym memberships, health spas, groceries, clothing, automobile lease payments, medical expenses and insurance, according to the indictment.

He also used investor funds to pay attorneys hired to address his alleged bribery of Adam Hill and multiple civil fraud cases, several of which continue to wind through the SLO County court system.

Wright married Nicola Pidgeon in June 2020, two weeks after he learned he was the subject of a federal investigation. He then diverted investor funds to his wife, his wife’s business and another business, the second located in Orange County. In June 2022, Pidgeon filed for divorce.

Wright is now facing 14 counts of wire fraud regarding wire transfers of $1,184,687 sent through interstate communications. He is also facing three counts of bank fraud for allegedly providing “material false and fraudulent pretenses, representations, and promises, and the concealment of material facts” to obtain a loan.

For the one count of device fraud, Wright asked partner two to provide information regarding his financial holdings to help secure a loan for the ranch. Wright then used the information to secure 15 credit cards in the partner’s name, which he used to spend more than $444,000.

Wright is currently being held without bail at the Los Angeles Metropolitan Detention Center.

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Seems all this occurred after he went to jail for beating up his gf? Either he’s incredibly bold, stupid, or in over his head cause he doesn’t know any better. None are an excuse :/