Federal prosecutor attends SLO County developers’ fraud trial

April 27, 2024

John Belsher and Ryan Petetit-Wright


During the last day of a civil trial in which two San Luis Obispo County developers are fighting allegations of fraud, a federal prosecutor observed the hearing. Both defendants in the case, John Belsher and Ryan Wright, are also tied to an ongoing criminal bribery and corruption case.

In their 2018 lawsuit, Jeffrey and Debora Chase accuse attorney Belsher and his partner Wright (formerly known as Ryan Petetit) of bilking them out of more than $2 million in three projects. The lawsuit also alleges Belsher violated State Bar rules of professional conduct.

Last year, FBI agents arrested Wright on a three-count indictment charging him with conspiracy, falsification of records and obstruction of justice. Wright and Belsher’s business, PB Companies, allegedly paid nearly $100,000 in bribes and gifts to former SLO County Supervisor Adam Hill.

While court records describe Belsher as Wright’s co-conspirator, federal agents have not arrested him.

During Thursday’s civil hearing, Assistant U.S. Attorney Thomas Rybarczyk observed via Zoom.

Both the Chases’ attorney Kurt Wilson and Belsher gave short statements before Superior Court Judge Michael Kelley asked each three to four questions.

Judge Kelley asked Wilson why he had not hired an expert witness to provide testimony regarding allegations of fraud and commingling regarding a residential project in Templeton – Las Tablas Villas. Wilson said a more than $1 million personal debt payment to Jason Blankenship from the Las Tablas Villas account was evidence of fraud and commingling.

The judge then asked Belsher questions regarding his alleged legal representation of the Chases. Belsher said the law firm in question ceased to exist on Jan. 1, 2015.

At the end of the hearing, Judge Kelley said he was taking the matter under submission and would provide a ruling in a timely manner.


1 Comment
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments

Birds of a feather, flock together.

John Belsher and Ryan Petetit-Wright are close friends with people like Adam Hill, Bruce Gibson, Heidi Harmon, Jan Marx, and Dawn Addis.

Federal prosecutors ought to spend some time connecting the dots between these people, and the convicted criminal extortionist Helios Dayspring.

Some of our local politicians are ethically-challenged!