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30 thoughts on “Unmasking a Con: How a Sudden Pit Bull Activist Parleyed Role into Top Job at No-Kill Humane Society in El Paso

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    • I went to high school with him. I had people telling me he was a venture capitalist and worth hundreds of millions. I personally looked at all the websites and determined myself that just because he says he’s an entrepreneur doesn’t mean it’s true. My wife even yelled at me as being jealous of him. Funny stuff, feel for the victims!!!

  1. Awesome expose!

    Westerman is a typical criminal “pittie fan.” I’m honestly surprised we don’t see more of this in the pit world the advocates are such overemotional fools, they’re easy pickings for someone like Westerman who preys on their warm fee-fees.

  2. It is fascinating to watch a breed advocate take his sanctimonious virtue signaling to an Olympic level while allegedly stealing from elderly people in his home state.

    Every abandoned business venture and every abandoned pit bull advocacy effort was paid for with somebody else’s money.

    I have the trial date inked on my calendar. Hope to see him held responsible.

  3. Great work! That’s the most comprehensive article on his layers and levels of deceit. I hope this article
    makes it to the judge in his case.

    I feel bad for his victims and I feel bad for the people who believed and still believe his BS.

  4. Don’t forget his partner in crime. His wife, Alisha Westerman (née Anstine) was with him every step of the way, held FINRA licenses as well, and was on Luke’s “boards” including being on and listing herself on LinkedIn as Director of the Westerman Family Foundation.

    • Alisha certainly came onto our radar. She was the Vice President of Finance for Westerman’s precursor company, US Equity. It’s unclear what she does professionally now, but she’s heavily into rescue. She also appears in county court filings — a complaint involving a student loan. That case status is now closed. It appears that Alisha has since removed her Linked In page.

  5. I went to church with these people. Only met in passing, but was well acquainted with some of his employees who left long before Solomon Global sank.

    It was funny, I saw through the charade almost immediately but so many in the church, including leadership, lacked all discernment and glommed on to this guy because he was “rich” and hip and had a really cool office downtown.

  6. Oh man! What an excellent breakdown of his activity! I was the one who told the president and VP of the board about the comments on FB accusing Luke of fraud. He had lied to my face many times by this point. The board members that resigned did the right thing! The remaining board members blame me but I know I did the right thing! This is a great article!

    • Thank you so much for your kind words! The board members who resigned absolutely did the right thing. So did you. Westerman is now facing serious consequences. Other people who have written into DogsBite have voiced the same theme, “He had lied to my face many times by this point.” We also learned after we published that even his story about his dog “Franky,” is untrue. Frankie is not a hurricane Gustav rescue. Luke purchased the dog from a breeder! “Franky” was just one more part of Westerman’s fabricated narrative.

      • WOW! This just keeps getting better and better.

        Side note, my husband once hired someone who we figured out was a con artist and the goal of the con was gainful employment to eventually parlay that into owning the company. It was amazing to see the evolution of the whole process and how the lies began to just pile up almost daily. Lying about the littlest of things was natural to that person. Thankfully, he got rid of the con artist but we still deal with the repercussions (sheriff coming to the office on more than one occasion to serve the con artist, companies using the office address for serving papers to collect debts, the municipality sending bills for an extra business in the address due to con artist running a side business unbeknownst to my husband out of the office while on my husband’s payroll).

        • That is indeed a con artist you experienced first hand (“Lying about the littlest of things was natural to that person”)! Along with the repercussions as well. Con artists are believable and quite smooth. Only in “hindsight” do the red flags become clear. So glad you got rid of this person before more harm was done!

  7. Ofcourse, there are many differing opinions on pits. After one had bitten my grand daughter and she has had to have corrected surgery at my expense, you understand why I am put out by pit lovers. Why would we allow anyone to own a pit bull that lets it run the neighborhood without a leash, this happened just a few days ago to me. Yes, I have a problem with it. When a pit bull kills one of my grand daughters, I wouldn’t then say, “well, they are real nice pets, they wouldn’t hurt a flea.

  8. Think about what he was doing… All this “save rate”and “no-kill”, all the lobbying and scheming.
    As a simple person living my simple life, it’s mind-boggling to find out that there are countless sick people out there, whose life work is brainwashing people, convincing unsuspecting families to “adopt” pit bulls, and then watch our children being killed by those beasts. How hypocritical is it to talk about no-kill, when the end result of your actions is deadly attacks and countless lives lost ! Increasing save rates for pit bulls clearly translates into decreasing save rates for humans! These sociopaths will never stop – they’ve made up their mind that pitbulls are more important than people, and they will relentlessly try to “save” pitbulls, sacrificing human lives in the process.

  9. Something a volunteer said in one of the links i clicked on tickled my funny bone; ““When I’ve gone into volunteer, most of the cages I’ve had to clean had urine and feces,” says a current shelter volunteer”.
    Isn’t that part of being a volunteer in the first place?

    When I was a kid everyone’s dogs ran loose. None were altered and nobody got bitten. The dogs in our rural neighborhood were beagles, collies, foxhounds, coonhounds, and Norwegian elkhounds. There were also plenty of mutts and “squirrel dogs” which were a landrace breed that was a wonderful family and farm dog as well as a hunting companion for treeing squirrels. There weren’t any pit bulls. It scares me to death knowing that my grandchildren live in homes with pits and are left with sitters who have pits.
    If pitbulls are such wonderful dogs, why do so many end up in shelters to begin with? Chihuahuas end up in shelters too. I have one. I understand completely why his kinfolk end up in the pound. I love him, but he is a real grumpy jerk sometimes and impossible to housebreak! I can see his flaws. I don’t try to rationalize them away or pretend they don’t exist. It is the nature of the beast. Why are pit owners not able to accept something so simple? Some things are just so much a part of the breed that you just can’t pretend that it isn’t.. If you want a herding dog, you don’t go get a cocker spaniel. Yorkies don’t make good livestock guardian dogs (for obvious reasons). But pitbull lovers will repeatedly put their families in harm’s way just so they can own one of those hell hounds.
    “But they are so sweet!”…
    …Until they aren’t.

  10. Great article. I found it looking for updates as I’ve been googling “Luke Westerman” for the last 10-12 years looking for the latest scam. You captured it very well and I can recall when he moved onto the next best thing over the years. It’s actually a very sad story considering the potential he had.

    I knew this guy from his early Columbus days after “graduating” from Mt Vernon. It was 2005-2006 at the time and really the start of him going dark. He was still at a small Chase branch in Dublin, OH (Columbus metro) and drove around with vanity plates, “NYSEJPM”. Clearly trying a little too hard back then as well.

  11. Just wanted to let you know that Westerman’s case continues to get continuances (no doubt the coronavirus has played a role, many court cases have been delayed). Most recently, his case was rescheduled for August. Also, Westerman’s rescue sidekick, Steffen Baldwin, was arrested today in LA County. We are awaiting charges to be released. Baldwin also fled Ohio.

    • His wife is working at a bank in Marysville ohio as a ‘Personal Banker’ She is also working at the Union County Humane Society and has managed to get several people fired by crying and saying they were mean to her. She is now handling all the money at the humane society. The Board of Directors knows and refuses to do anything because of the current Director.

      • Police have not released information yet. No court documents have been released either. We hope that happens on Mon/Tues.

    • Thank you for the update! I can’t believe Luke is still roaming free. By the way, just one more fun fact: Luke uses fake Facebook profiles that he himself manages to give himself praise and adoration. It’s beyond pathetic. The fake profile names are “Bella ML” (he changed the name on this profile when I personally called him out on it), “Debra Meier” and “Liz Marie”. If you go to his Facebook posts, you’ll notice that those three are ALWAYS among the first to comment, and their profiles are just laughably fake. I got plenty more tidbits to share, just reach out!

  12. Doesn’t Ohio have some sort of minimum sentencing laws?
    A guy I worked for stole a lot less via bankruptcy fraud.
    He got over a year in Federal prison.
    He thought about coping a plea but becase of the minimum sentencing guidelines and the amount missing he was headed to pen regardless.

    Stealing a million bucks from retirees and not even having to go to jail is insane.
    How is he going to make restitution?
    Will they lock his butt up if he doesn’t?

    • Mandatory prison time in Ohio

      “if the court imposing a sentence upon an offender for a felony ‘elects or is required to’ impose a prison term” —

      Section (3)(a) does not pertain to Westerman. All of his offenses (non-violent) start with number “1”.

      It appears there is a lot of judicial discretion for non-violent felonies in Ohio.

      1707.44 (F3) = 15 counts
      1707.44 (F4) = 4 count

      Restitution payment program in Franklin County, Ohio

      The way restitution has been explained to me in other jurisdictions is that it can be lifelong. The payment can be $50 for every month for the rest of your life. Thus, if ordered to pay $500 per month @$6,000 per year for 75 years is still under half a million dollars. The point being, the defendant makes monthly payments for the rest of his or her life — that payment being what the defendant can afford. It may be impossible for defendant to pay back the whole amount, but for the rest of his or her adult life, the court will expect a payment every month. We shall see what the judge orders.

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