Steve Pease is missing – and so is a loan payment to the Roseville Community Development Corporation. Pease should have cut them a more than $9,000 check in late October, but with him gone so is their money.
“Everybody is worried about the safety of that money the security of that money,” said Howard Rudd, with RCDC.
The RCDC loaned Pease more than $1.5 million to fix up a shambled building in Historic Downtown Roseville. That money created Sammy’s Rockin’ Island Bar and Grill.
“We made that payment to him, over 19 progressive steps, as the different tenant improvements were made in the building after the contractors had verified the instillation had been completed,” Rudd said.
Rudd said they know Pease didn’t run off with any of their money because it was all spent on building improvements. They’re just worried about the repayment of the loan; Pease’s company owes them another payment in four days.
“We still don’t know if the restaurant can be reopened. We are doing everything we can to assist in that process, but, of course, without Steve around that is more difficult,” Rudd said.
Rudd says all hope is not lost in recovering the money if the restaurant never reopens.
“We have been contacted by some other business people. Of course, any time there is a weakness in a situation it presents an opportunity for somebody else with the strength to carry it out,” Rudd said.
Pease’s friends have not given up hope in bringing their friend home. They spent the past few days in Fort Bragg, looking for any sign of Pease or the rental car he was driving.
“[We’re] searching the coastline to make sure vehicle hadn’t gone off the cliff or something and we feel very confident about that,” said Chris Maudru, a friend of Pease’s.
Friends have also spoken with psychics, hired a private investigator and have combed Pease’s financials.
“He has the assets. I don’t know, it’s strange … It’s a complete surprise to us and others. If it’s a financial situation it’s a big surprise,” Rudd said.
Friends note that Pease owns several properties, has more than $250,000 in equity in his home and owns an expensive car he could sell if money was truly tight. They are at a loss about his disappearance and are growing more desperate to find him as time passes.
FOX40 was told that the Sammy’s Rockin’ Island Bar and Grill minority owner John Yip is trying to legally figure out how he can run the restaurant with the majority owner missing. It’s a sticky legal situation, since Pease has so much of his own money tied up in the business and controls the bank accounts.