This post linked to below is from another blog.  It’s one of the first published accounts (at least that I’ve seen) of the trail of financial issues between Chase Merritt and Joseph McStay.  I can’t personally vouch for its authenticity, but it appears reliable.


Provecho Water Feature Evidence
Provecho: Part 2


This next is a breakdown of the report on “Chase Merritt and The McStay Family murders blog“. For full report click link Blog.

The communications below all take place in 2008. This is way before the McStays go missing, however the issues with receiving payment from this particular vendor are apparently still relevant at the time of the disappearance.  What relevance, if any, to the McStay murders, remains to be seen. It appears from Yelp reviews that this specific Provecho restaurant may have closed down around 2010.




April Pro

May Pro

June:July Pro

July:August Pro

November Pro

What the above email thread lays out are difficulties in receiving payment from Provecho, as agreed upon in the contract between EIP and Provecho (see Blog)

It is unclear what part Chase’s work played in this dispute.  Or if the water feature was ever fully installed by Chase.  From the pictures on Yelp it seems that the water feature was installed.  But the emails are unclear.

Though interesting, I’m not sure how this relates to the McStay family disappearing.

16 months following the email-thread represented above (almost a year and a half later) Joseph is still working with Chase. And no welders have come forward stating that Joseph had approached them to replace Chase. If Joseph was looking to either add welders or replace Chase, he was in the very early stages of this.  But there is very little to corroborate this idea, absent Dan Kavanaugh taking the stand.

Up until the McStays go missing Joseph and Chase are on the phone more than ever, and Chase assists, in Joseph and Summer’s move from their San Clemente home, to the Fallbrook residence.  Chase also puts up their shed the week prior to the family vanishing.

When faced with Joseph’s disappointment in the Pacheco deal Chase doesn’t threaten Joseph, as Dan K. did, Chase offers to do what he can to get Joseph his money back.

Basically, on this specific deal, Joseph is out of pocket the 19K he paid Chase.  Which had the project worked out, would have been Chase’s percentage.  Why Joseph paid Chase in full, rather than in installments is uncertain.

But here’s the thing, Joseph’s job is to make sure payment is received from the client. He never should have accepted a credit card-PayPal payment. He should have required that it be paid by check. So some of this is on Joseph.


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21 thoughts on “Provecho

    1. But if they were both playing paintball, wouldn’t they both have on somewhat the same outfit?

      And I actually have this vague recollection of a picture of Chase in a similar costume.

      1. No the gear isn’t required. The only thing needed is the face mask, they won’t let you on the field without it. I’ve played.

        1. Well it might not be required, but it’s certainly possible they were geared up the same way. The other thing about that ride in the Trooper, is if they were coming back from a day of playing paintball, who’s to say Chase didn’t relieve himself at the end of the day, washing his hands right after? We don’t always leave DNA, and hygiene and pressure applied to an object are thought to be factors in why we don’t leave DNA and when we do.

          The more we wash our hands, the less chance of sloughing off skin cells. The more pressure applied to an object, the greater chance of leaving DNA.

        2. The other factor we don’t know, is if in the 6 weeks following that paintball game, someone didn’t clean the interior passenger side of the Trooper. Maybe dirt or paint got on the inside door frame and someone windexed it. We just don’t know.

          1. Any of that is possible. DNA has many different ways of being deposited. But his DNA absent on the passenger side isn’t the issue, right?

            1. The DA, in his response to the defense’s motion to dismiss, brought up the fact that Chase’s DNA wasn’t found on the passenger side of the vehicle. Which surprised me a little actually. Because I wold agree, that isn’t the issue. There are just too many unknown factors, to factor that particular fact in.

    1. Something interesting about Dan K. In one of his interviews he claimed to be partners with Joey. But from trial everyone said that Joey had bought Dan out and was planning not to work with him anymore.

      That’s kind of proving Dan a liar.

  1. What the above ledger shows, I think, is a snap shot of year end finances for 2009. Though it would appear to be relating an outstanding debt of around 42k from Chase to Joseph, what my accountant brain interprets is a little different. I believe that the only actual “debt” is 15k. That the other figures are possible losses for Joseph, that he and Chase may be negotiating in terms of who owes who, what.

    And that 15k debt may be related to the fact that the law suit against Provecho failed, so the two men are going to split the losses.

      1. I don’t know for certain. What I can tell is that the ledger or accounting balance cannot be accurately interpreted without knowing more about how Joseph McStay kept his books.

        In addition, what I don’t see here are outstanding loans from Joseph to Chase for gambling debts.

          1. Very interesting. And there is the picture of the paintball outfit in this video as well. I’ve been looking for that everywhere.

            1. Well now we know why Chase didn’t leave DNA in the Trooper when he was a passenger going to and from paintball. Look at that outfit. Also, comparing the CNN depiction of the finances and what is on the actual ledger, there appears to be a misinterpretation of the facts by Dan Kavanaugh. We’ll see. But this does appear to be the case.

                1. That’s a good point. If Joseph is thinking that he’s going to have a really strong sales year, he may be looking for all the tax deductions he can find.

                    1. From what I can tell, in 2009 Joseph McStay’s net was around 130k.

                      So, if there were losses in 2009-say the loss of the Provecho lawsuit, or the Levine project, even though I’m sure Joseph would rather have had the profit, he can at the very least use this loss to reduce his taxes. (I think.)

                      I don’t know this for certain, but it wouldn’t surprise me if that 42k number is actually one he was looking to declare as a loss.

                    2. Joey had a room designated for his office. that was probably a tax write off as too

                    3. I think Joseph’s business was an LLC. I have to think that Joseph paid his taxes quarterly, but maybe not. The balance sheet could be in prep for paying the final quarter of taxes for 2009. It’s weird that there is no mention of an accountant doing EIP’s taxes. Maybe Joseph was skilled enough in accounting to do this for himself. It will be interesting to see what the forensic accountant has to say about the overall finances for EIP.

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