San Luis Obispo attorney loses $3.6 million lawsuit, selling assets

June 8, 2024


Two weeks after losing a $3.6 million lawsuit, San Luis Obispo attorney John Belsher is selling his personal belongings, with plans to sell his home and move out of state.

During an estate sale at his home on El Cerrito Street in SLO on Friday and Saturday, advertised as “everything goes,” Belsher sold furniture, art, high-end Trek bikes, construction equipment and more. People working the sale said Belsher is moving to the Midwest and is working to sell his home in SLO.

Belsher currently owns a vacation home near Lake Michigan.

After Belsher and his partner Ryan Petetit failed to return investments in their development projects, in 2018, Jeff and Debora Chase filed a lawsuit that accused the developers of bilking them out of nearly $3 million they invested in four projects. The Chases also accused Belsher of violating State Bar rules of professional conduct.

John Belsher and Ryan Petetit, also known as Ryan Wright

Superior Court Judge Michael Kelley agreed. In a May 23 proposed ruling, Kelley found breach of contract, breach of guaranty, breach of promissory note, breach of fiduciary duty, and fraud and deceit against both Belsher and Petetit. While the case meandered through the legal system, Petetit changed his name to Ryan Wright.

Both the plaintiffs and defendants have 30 days “to call errors or misstatements to the attention of the court for correction.” Within 30 days after the decision becomes final, the Chases have 30 days to prepare and serve a proposed judgement. But by that time, will Belsher have sold his home in SLO and left the state?

During a pause in the trial, on Oct. 30, FBI agents arrested Wright at his home in Grover Beach on a three-count indictment charging him with conspiracy, falsification of records and obstruction of justice. Belsher and Wright’s business, PB Companies, allegedly paid nearly $100,000 in bribes and gifts to former San Luis Obispo County Supervisor Adam Hill.

Even though the initial and supplemental indictments refer to Belsher as Wright’s co-conspirator, law enforcement agents have not arrested Belsher.

A more recent document, the March 26 declaration of U.S. Attorney Daniel J. O’Brien, refers to Belsher as an unindicted co-conspirator.


Inline Feedbacks
View all comments

I still don’t understand why Petit is in jail and Belsher isn’t?

He should have to stay SLO county until he paid off his debts. Not that we want him.