Construction Company Owner Gets 9 Years for Fraud

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Construction Company Owner Gets 9 Years for Fraud
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By edhat staff

The owner of a local construction company has been sentenced to 9 years and 4 months in prison for fraud on Thursday.

Mark John Melchiori owned Melchiori Construction Company and pled guilty last year to one count of felony diversion of construction funds, one count of felony prevailing wage fraud, and one count of felony unlawful money transmission. Melchiori also admitted a special allegation that the amount taken was in excess of $100,000 and an aggravated white-collar crime enhancement that the amount he took was in excess of $500,000.

The charges stemmed from a complaint by Robert Zemeckis, a film director, screenwriter, and Acadamy Award-winning director. Zemeckis stated he paid Melchiori Construction Company $500,000 in 2012 to remodel his home, but Melchiori illegally used the money for his own purposes. Zemeckis testified that due to Melchiori's fraud and failure to pay subcontractors, a lien was placed on his causing causing total damages closer to $1 million.

Melchiori was also accused of misappropriating $10 million from his company and using the funds to purchase a $2 million house, luxury vehicles, and host lavish parties.

 

With the assistance of both the California Department of Insurance and the California Department of Industrial Relations, the District Attorney’s Office also found that Melchiori had been underpaying his workers on public works projects to finance his lifestyle and that he had been funneling money through various companies to cover up his crimes.

Judge Jim Herman sentenced Melchiori to the maximum sentence of 9 years and 4 months.

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RHS Feb 23, 2020 10:26 AM
Construction Company Owner Gets 9 Years for Fraud

Two facts of life that people simply can't get a hold of it seems: 1. Business corporations can escape their financial obligations by simply walking away. This includes bankruptcy. The purpose of incorporating is to allow this to happen. It is by design. 2. Government cannot simply walk away. So when advocates for "privatization" of government functions push their schemes on us we need to remember who will be their when the schemes go wrong.

JoeSixPack Feb 23, 2020 08:14 AM
Construction Company Owner Gets 9 Years for Fraud

Where did this money go (from 2011)? Melchiori Wins $5.8 Million in Chapala One Fraud Case. https://www.independent.com/2011/05/12/melchiori-wins-5-8-million-chapala-one-fraud-case/

a-1585459322 Feb 23, 2020 05:38 AM
Construction Company Owner Gets 9 Years for Fraud

Some background. Of course there's more info than this: --------------------------------------------------------------- https://www.noozhawk.com/article/091612_mark_melchiori_linda_melchiori/ --------------------------------------------------------------- https://www.noozhawk.com/article/112812_santa_barbara_news_melchiori_construction_criminal_probe/ --------------------------------------------------------------- https://www.noozhawk.com/article/102312_former_vp_sues_melchiori_401k_money/ --------------------------------------------------------------- https://www.noozhawk.com/article/mark_melchiori_pleads_guilty_in_construction

midair Feb 23, 2020 03:13 AM
Construction Company Owner Gets 9 Years for Fraud

His stepmother sued him claiming his divorce from his wife Heather was a scam to hide assets. Anyone know what became of that? Also Rabobank was suing in now ex-wife for 1.3 million for not paying back a business loan. Anyone know of that status? What a great family!!!

a-1585459322 Feb 23, 2020 05:28 AM
Construction Company Owner Gets 9 Years for Fraud

Good question! This is one criminal who deserves his time but then might be worthwhile to live in an SRO, if there are any left, and work at the highest level he's allowed and able to and every single frigging penny beyond subsistence goes to restitution! And I mean subsistence: a single room with heat, plumbing, including hot water, and general electricity on demand. I'll even give him tv and/or internet access. He can get by great with access to a hot plate, microwave; a rice cooker and toaster oven makes great meals. Hey, he could work on solar panel installation or any form of retrofitting when he gets out, maybe in the Rust Belt. He should be useful. https://www.noozhawk.com/article/102312_former_vp_sues_melchiori_401k_money/

4nature Feb 22, 2020 10:52 PM
Construction Company Owner Gets 9 Years for Fraud

Myself and 60 other homeowners were recently victims of a similar crime. Riverwood Cabins took 50% deposits on the modular homes that they did not deliver after filling for chapter 7. They are now offering $3,000 per costumer. I lost $170,000. The bankruptcy courts accept this sort of deal. I am paying a loan for 20 years for this deposit, which Kent Lapp took and used it. He goes free and I keep paying the loan for nothing. How is this justice? Beware, our legal system favors the business, not the consumer in these cases. Even our president has done this 4 times and messed up the lives of many poorer people who could not afford to lose money.

yin yang Feb 23, 2020 03:03 AM
Construction Company Owner Gets 9 Years for Fraud

Is this Kent Lapp from Riverwood the same as the one who puts out "Salt and Fire"? I don't trust those people myself. Too much self-promotion, not enough personal American good values.

yin yang Feb 23, 2020 02:43 AM
Construction Company Owner Gets 9 Years for Fraud

Sorry. I DO sympathize. Yes, of course your complaint is valid. Yes, those with money always come out on top, I agree. Justice IS always for sale, as a good defense costs a boatload of money. Nope, there seems to be no justice, but this case is very recent; it can and will take years to litigate or settle this stuff. My best wishes for you and yours in this case and in life in general.

yin yang Feb 23, 2020 02:37 AM
Construction Company Owner Gets 9 Years for Fraud

Not exactly similar and doesn't seem to involve Santa Barbara, but I might've missed it, as I only scanned the news. Companies sell stuff and then declare bankruptcy every day. Melchiori did badly by dozens of subs, had issues for many years, and did really bad stuff that involved and affected his family members and people, with most to lose, at top of his company. Whatever. ======================================================================= https://www.tennessean.com/story/news/2020/02/14/franklin-cabin-company-filed-bankruptcy-under-police-investigation/4763382002/

PitMix Feb 24, 2020 02:48 PM
Construction Company Owner Gets 9 Years for Fraud

9 years, less with time off for good behavior, in a minimum security prison where white collar criminals are housed, seems like a good deal. He stole a bunch, maybe millions including the bank loans. If you rob a 7-11 with a gun and get 50 bucks it is a mandatory 20 years.

Luvaduck Feb 22, 2020 06:59 AM
Construction Company Owner Gets 9 Years for Fraud

What a shame. His father worked hard, built the company and was honest. High-living on someone else's funds seems to be a problem for some who grow up as very privileged children w/o having to put anything in. It happens in not-so-wealthy families, too. Unless responsibility & work ethic are taught as linked to benefits to children, benefits become entitlements in adults who lack moral fiber.

a-1585459322 Feb 23, 2020 02:52 AM
Construction Company Owner Gets 9 Years for Fraud

I see your point to an extent, but Melchiori Jr. hurt people to the point of destroying lives and monetary futures. Any and every one who has followed this case is pretty far beyond "what a shame." What a shame doesn't touch his crimes. Sorry, I don't mean to attack you, I'm just upset about the whole thing.

a-1585459322 Feb 22, 2020 03:13 AM
Construction Company Owner Gets 9 Years for Fraud

Pretty terrible. I know someone who was part of the business -- who trusted and tried to help. Might be the person talked about here by the ex-wife who gave a victim impact statement. ================ https://www.independent.com/2020/02/20/construction-mogul-gets-nine-years-for-bilking-movie-producer/

a-1585459322 Feb 22, 2020 03:01 AM
Construction Company Owner Gets 9 Years for Fraud

Interesting that Zemeckis hired him in *2012.* By that time, Melchiori Construction was well-known in a bad way for things like the UCSB Ocean Science building the company was fired from and the SB County Emergency Ops building; wasn't his reputation already basically trash in SB? At least look at the red flags, do a google search for news articles and run anyone you're considering hiring through contractor licensing board web sites.

surfergirl69 Feb 22, 2020 02:31 AM
Construction Company Owner Gets 9 Years for Fraud

Thank you, Mr. Zemeckis for coming forth..... and 1's time to see it thru. A con artist gone air is sweeter heart lighter a pollution dimming kind of attacks to soul and surf jj

a-1585459322 Feb 23, 2020 05:17 AM
Construction Company Owner Gets 9 Years for Fraud

Why would you say something like this when there's so many news articles about Melchiori going back to 2012 and it's so easy to check? Why? Michael Ring of Ring & Associates represented Heather Melchiori in and before 2012. Peter Umhoff of Seed Mackall represented Melchiori Jr. in 2012. Last week, Melchiori's defense attorney was Doug Hayes, well-known locally, and well-reported.

a-1585459322 Feb 21, 2020 03:52 PM
Construction Company Owner Gets 9 Years for Fraud

White collar crime in this country is usually dealt with by a "slap on the wrists" by the current judicial system. It's getting rapidly worse too in this country. "SAD"

a-1585459322 Feb 21, 2020 01:26 PM
Construction Company Owner Gets 9 Years for Fraud

Compare and contrast what misdeeds it took to get a 9 year jail sentence in Santa Barbara (Mark Melchiori) to what misdeeds it took to get a 9 year jail sentence thrown at you in Wash DC (Roger Stone).

a-1585459322 Feb 23, 2020 11:22 AM
Construction Company Owner Gets 9 Years for Fraud

Stone NEVER was sentenced to 9 years. MAGA propaganda aside, that was only a recommended top range of sentence based on federal sentencing guidelines. In fact he was sentenced to less than half that and will do some portion of that should Trump not commute or pardon him. One should think that perjury in testimony before Congress and threatening witnesses against Trump and himself is a serious crime and the actual sentence imposed is certainly within just boundaries.

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