Chuck Liddell is one of many investors who were allegedly scammed by “Cuesta Title Co.” and a North County developer Kelly Gearhart.
Liddell filed suit against the company in November with co-plaintiff “U2 LLC”, which is a San Luis Obispo (where Liddell lives) real property company.
Liddell claims to have lost $1.5 million and U2 says the company lost $1 million, from a fake deal over property in Paso Robles that is owned by Gearhart.
A Houston Texas-based “Stewart Title” bought “Cuesta Title” in 2004, making Cuesta and Stewart the defendants.
Neither Stewart Tile or Liddell have any comments regarding the case. Usman Iqbal, who is co-owner of U2 and Allen K. Hutkin, who is the attorney representing both plaintiffs, also both declined to comment about the case.
Gearhart, who is also apparently going through bankruptcy proceedings as well, is not being sued, but is being identified in the lawsuit as an “alleged participant in the scheme.”
Liddell and U2 are claiming that they were given the title for lots that they agreed to buy at “Vista Del Hombre”, a development project that Gearhart was hoping to build on a golf course, “The Links Course” at Vista Del Hombre, which is in Paso Robles.
Details in the lawsuit claim that in August 2007 Liddell made an agreement to purchase 3 lots for $500,000 each and U2 spent $1 million on two lots that were intended for commercial property.
Hutkin claims that both his clients were told that they would be given title, but they first had to pay Gearhart to “finalize a tract map to create the lots.”
Melanie Schneider of Cuesta Title, was allegedly dealing with the title insurance service and escrow, in the Paso Robles office, and was aware of Gearhart’s shady business, where she, and her company benefited from his scheme as well.