By KAREN VELIE
Attorney John Belsher and his partner in several developments, Ryan Petetit, are accused of fraudulently leasing out a building in San Luis Obispo and then collecting more than $250,000 in rent.
The lawsuit, filed by Don Judkins on Nov. 6, accuses Belsher and Petetit of fraudulent conversion for taking rents without a property owner’s consent. Belsher, 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, Judkins and Belsher forged a partnership, Marsh-Higuera Mixed Use LLC, which purchased buildings at 545 Higuera Street and 486 Marsh Street. 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, Petetit, who has 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 a lawsuit
Judkins and Belsher had agreed that any leases would require the “unanimous consent of the members” and that monies would then go toward expenses, according to their business agreement. Marsh-Higuera has an approximately $3 million loan with payments that are supposed to be split between Judkins and Belsher. Belsher, however, never made any of the payments, according to the lawsuit.
“Ryan Petetit and/or Belsher began collecting the rents paid by Mosaic and converted those rents received for their own use without informing the members of Marsh-Higuera or accounting, in any manner, for the converted rents,” the suit says. “Even if the Mosaic rents had been properly processed and the third-party loan had been paid, Belsher would not have been entitled to any distribution as he made no capital contribution to Marsh-Higuera.”
In May 2018, the manager of Mosaic contacted Judkins and asked for a lease extension. Judkins then contacted Belsher who started sending the lease payments to Judkins.
“From October 1, 2015 until shortly after May 1, 2018, Belsher intentionally concealed his thefts by not reporting the receipt of the Mosaic rents received in order to defraud Marsh-Higuera,” according to the lawsuit.
Despite having multiple bankruptcies, tax liens and lawsuits accusing the pair of fraud, Petetit and Belsher appear to be enjoying the high life. They regularly rent private jets, travel overseas and attend national sports events.