Former Ultimate Fighting champion Chuck Liddell has joined a long list of investors alleging they were scammed by Cuesta Title Co. and North County developer Kelly Gearhart.
Liddell, in the public eye most recently for his appearance last fall on "Dancing with the Stars," filed the suit in November with co-plaintiff U2 LLC, a San Luis Obispo-based real property company.
In the suit, Liddell, who lives in San Luis Obispo, claims he lost $1.5 million, and U2 alleges the company is out $1 million, from a fraudulent deal over property in Paso Robles owned by Gearhart.
According to the suit, around August 2007 Liddell entered into an agreement to buy three lots for $500,000 each and U2 spent $1 million on two lots there intended for commercial property.
Hutkin claims in the court document that his clients were told they’d receive title, but first had to pay the money to Gearhart to finalize a tract map to create the lots....
Hutkin claims that Gearhart wasn’t using the money he received from investors to develop property; instead, he claims Gearhart operated a Ponzi scheme.
The plaintiffs accuse Gearhart and his business of paying other investors who previously invested funds with them, pocketing money or diverting the money to other development projects.
The defendants "never intended to convey title to these lots once the money was released," Hutkin wrote.
Mo' money, mo' problems.