Disgraced San Luis Obispo attorney files for separation: Why?

June 13, 2024

John and Jody Belsher


With a looming $3.6 million judgement for defrauding a friend, Jody Belsher recently filed a petition for legal separation from San Luis Obispo attorney John Belsher. John Belsher is representing his wife in the separation action.

Even though the petition claims the couple separated on June 6, Jody Belsher posted a statement on social media at the same time reporting her and her husband are moving together to a home they own in Michigan. According to the petition, however, Jody Belsher is seeking the legal separation because of irreconcilable differences.

Jeff and Debora Chase sued developers John Belsher and his partner Ryan Wright (formerly known as Ryan Petetit) in 2018 after they defrauded them out of more than $2 million in three projects using promises of high returns from the developments. In a May 23 proposed ruling, Superior Court Judge Michael Kelley found breach of contract, breach of guaranty, breach of promissory note, breach of fiduciary duty, and fraud and deceit against both John Belsher and Wright.

From June 6 through June 8, the couple hosted an everything goes estate sale at their home on El Cerrito Street in San Luis Obispo, an event Jody Belsher announced in a social media post that also denounced local media, Judge Kelley, the Chases and attorney Kurt Wilson.

In her post, Jody Belsher describes Judge Kelley’s May 23 proposed ruling as a “miscarriage of justice.”

She describes the Chases’ attorney Kurt Wilson as “a sleazy operator who went after our throats.”

She chastises both the SLO New Times and CalCoastNews alleging they did not publish her husband’s and her side.

Jody Belsher argues the Chases are not victims, and goes on to describe them as a wealthy couple with multiple homes. She details attempts to settle in which her husband offered $1.2 million in cash and other assets to settle the debt. However, she fails to mention the other assets were dicey at best or that she refused a request to secure the debt by placing a lien on her home.

“They are trying to make John look unscrupulous, manipulative and corrupt,” Jody Belsher wrote. “He is not. These are sensational lies and our true friends know and understand the truth.”

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

On Nov. 22, 2015, Wright violently beat his girlfriend. He repeatedly choked and held his victim against her will. In July 2019, Wright was sentenced to 270 days in jail for assault, an incident Jody Belsher blames for her husband and Wright’s financial issues.

“The initial cascade of events occurred when John’s business partner Ryan got drunk, injured his girlfriend and was arrested,” Jody Belsher wrote. “This front-page event spiraled the downfall of their multi-million dollar development company that was very successful (SLO Public Market among them) until that horrific incident—which had nothing to do with John. All the banks, lenders and investors pulled out their monies and left a string of lawsuits.”

However, in early 2015, multiple subcontractors had already accused John Belsher and Wright’s PB Companies of not paying its bills.

More than a month before Wright assaulted his girlfriend, CalCoastNews reported PB Companies’ questionable payments to then supervisor Hill and what appeared to be a conflict of interest. In a series of articles, CalCoastNews described PB Companies financial and legal woes.

“At the same time, PB Companies principals John Belsher and Ryan Petetit are under fire for not paying subcontractors and lenders and for violating building codes,” according to an Oct. 19, 2015 CalCoastNews article. “During the past few years, the partners have been in court over multiple financial controversies such as breach of contract and not paying fines to the city of San Luis Obispo for building violations.


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The Belshers are all about money down to the penny. Always have been. This separation is, no doubt, an attempt to shield money. John knows that this judgment came when they were married, so they cannot hide community assets for the 3.5 million penalty. Perhaps they anticipate more legal troubles. That may be why they are separating now to get monies in place before more lawsuits come down the pike.

To deflect and somehow save their “good name”, Jody blames everyone else for their troubles. The judge is slimy. The prosecuting attorney is corrupt. The plaintiffs have so much money already. And Cal Coast News is corrupt for reporting what actually happened. The Belshers have already lost their credibility. Slandering others makes them look worse and desperate.

Attorneys are not above the law, shouldn’t John Belsher have already been arrested?

Unless he is the FBI’s informant.

All their money is hidden in their kids names in offshore accounts. They will never pay a dime to the Chases.

A naked and obvious attempt to shield half the assets from judgments. Too bad for them that everything they currently own is community property and subject to collection, even if they get divorced. It is unbelieveable that the California State Bar has not invesrtigated and brought ethics charges against him.

They are all members of the same twisted tribe; lawyers won’t hurt another bar member’s ability to earn. Even when their license is suspended they work for other attorneys doing research, drafting documents, etc.