Construction Company Owner Pleads Guilty to Fraud

27 Comments
Reads 6018

Source: Santa Barbara County District Attorney

Santa Barbara County District Attorney Joyce E. Dudley announced [Friday] that Mark John Melchiori pled guilty 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 $100,000.00 within the meaning of Penal Code section 1203.045, and an aggravated white collar crime enhancement that the amount he took was in excess of $500,000.00 within the meaning of Penal Code section 186.11(a)(2).

This case arose from a complaint by victim Robert Zemeckis that he had paid Melchiori Construction Company several hundred thousand dollars to remodel his home, but the defendant illegally used the money for his own purposes. After an exhaustive investigation, the District Attorney’s Office found that the defendant had used Mr. Zemeckis’s money to finance his own lavish lifestyle and to fund other projects. 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 the defendant had been under paying 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.

The hard work and dedication of Deputy District Attorney Casey Nelson, District Attorney Investigator Patrick Adams, California Department of Insurance, Criminal Investigations Branch, Fraud Division, and the California Department of Industrial Relations, Division of Labor Standards Enforcement throughout this investigation allowed for the successful prosecution of this case.

A setting hearing for sentencing in this matter will be on January 8, 2020. The defendant faces a maximum sentence of 9 years, and 4 months in state prison.

Login to add Comments

27 Comments

Toggle Comments (Show)
a-1574410744 Oct 20, 2019 07:32 PM
Construction Company Owner Pleads Guilty to Fraud

Why did it take so long for this guy to go to jail? He’s been running this racket I town for 20 years and has been in the news for the past ten at least. I hope he sees jail time this time. Certainly his contractor’s license has been revoked.

a-1574410744 Oct 20, 2019 10:09 AM
Construction Company Owner Pleads Guilty to Fraud

Compliments to the DA's office for this prosecution. Nice to see something that is not political, although one wonders if they would have so aggressive had the victim not been a celebrity.

Alexblue Oct 20, 2019 09:23 AM
Construction Company Owner Pleads Guilty to Fraud

S many wonderful tradespeople in this town and so many sketchy, overpaid, self entitled GCs. I learned my lesson, now I ONLY bring in big companies from out of town to do work on my property.

forrestmv18 Oct 20, 2019 08:50 AM
Construction Company Owner Pleads Guilty to Fraud

There is nothing good, nothing at all, about Mark and his ex wife Heather. We know Mark and his lowlife and duplicitous ex wife, and their daughter. We also knew Mark's father Ugo that started the business. Mark and Heather created a string of shell companies to deposit money into from multiple large and medium sized projects and construction loans, and then strung along subcontractors by giving them portions of payment as they were working on multiple jobs with them. He strung along clients by getting some of the work done in order to trigger payments. He strung along lenders. A pretty standard scam in contracting. UCSB banned his company from campus, well before the indictment, for substandard work and not completing a building on campus. After Ugo died Mark began stealing money and equity from his step mother etc. as well. There is nothing good about these two as they actively defrauded and stole from anyone close to them. Mark knowingly and intentionally used his father's good name to be a criminal. Mark knowingly and intentionally leveraged all of the equity that his father had created to help with his "shell game". Hopefully his ex wife will also end up in jail. Their poor daughter is the only victim in the family.

a-1574410744 Oct 20, 2019 12:36 AM
Construction Company Owner Pleads Guilty to Fraud

https://www.noozhawk.com/article/mark_melchiori_pleads_guilty_in_construction "Mark Melchiori pleaded guilty to three felony charges related to his family’s now-defunct construction company on Friday, the day his criminal trial was scheduled to start in Santa Barbara County Superior Court. Melchiori, 52, was criminally investigated and originally charged with 47 felony counts, including embezzlement and fraud, after filing for bankruptcy for the company and personally in 2012. The criminal complaint was consolidated, and Melchiori pleaded guilty to diversion of construction funds, prevailing wage fraud, and unlawful money transmission, Deputy District Attorney Casey Nelson told Noozhawk. Melchiori also admitted special allegations that the financial losses were more than $100,000 and more than $500,000, Nelson said. Local News Melchiori Faces Prison After Pleading Guilty in Construction-Fraud Case By Giana Magnoli, Noozhawk Managing Editor | @magnoli | October 18, 2019 | 3:37 p.m. Share on emailShare on print Mark Melchiori Mark Melchiori Mark Melchiori pleaded guilty to three felony charges related to his family’s now-defunct construction company on Friday, the day his criminal trial was scheduled to start in Santa Barbara County Superior Court. Melchiori, 52, was criminally investigated and originally charged with 47 felony counts, including embezzlement and fraud, after filing for bankruptcy for the company and personally in 2012. The criminal complaint was consolidated, and Melchiori pleaded guilty to diversion of construction funds, prevailing wage fraud, and unlawful money transmission, Deputy District Attorney Casey Nelson told Noozhawk. Melchiori also admitted special allegations that the financial losses were more than $100,000 and more than $500,000, Nelson said. PlayPlay Seek 00:00 Current time01:00 Toggle Mute Volume Toggle Fullscreen Free Air and Half Off the Second Guest’s Fare! Explore the Galapagos Islands with Celebrity Cruises on the New Celebrity Flora! With the plea, Melchiori could be sentenced to up to nine years and four months in state prison, and Judge James Herman will set a sentencing hearing in January, Nelson said.

a-1574410744 Oct 19, 2019 11:52 PM
Construction Company Owner Pleads Guilty to Fraud

Why would you give a person a couple $100Ks before they even did some work? Shouldn't you pay as each phase is completed? I am not saying it is a victim's fault, I am seriously asking, if that is a normal practice?

a-1574410744 Oct 21, 2019 06:48 PM
Construction Company Owner Pleads Guilty to Fraud

Doesn't mean he did NO work at that site. I heard of his malfeasance decades ago re: UCSB projects. ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------Noozhawk article Dec. 17: "Melchiori Construction Company filed for bankruptcy in 2012, and Melchiori has also personally filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy." ------------------------------------------------ https://www.noozhawk.com/article/mark_melchiori_pleads_not_guilty_criminal_charges_construction_company

a-1574410744 Oct 19, 2019 07:35 PM
Construction Company Owner Pleads Guilty to Fraud

darn it, he shoulda faced up to it and paid his creditors! How did he think he'd get out of it or be found innocent? This has been a case for many years! So angry. But it's the way of the world. Look at our national administration.

Alexblue Oct 20, 2019 05:26 PM
Construction Company Owner Pleads Guilty to Fraud

Are you serious? What planet do you live on? ultra wealthy ultra connected people get paid scams of money to sit on boards and do nothing, doesn't matter what their politics and it's not illegal, it's just immoral. Look at the Trump kids.

a-1574410744 Oct 20, 2019 02:58 PM
Construction Company Owner Pleads Guilty to Fraud

Yes, and while you are at it, look at the former administration “not a shred of scandal” they say. $50,000 + a week to pay the son of former V.P. as an advisor for a Ukrainian energy company for which he had zero experience.

a-1574410744 Oct 19, 2019 06:20 PM
Construction Company Owner Pleads Guilty to Fraud

Melchiori is a well-known name here in the construction business. Too bad this guy decided to rob his customers and his workers. What a shame. Glad he was caught.

SantaBarbaraObserver Oct 19, 2019 01:44 PM
Construction Company Owner Pleads Guilty to Fraud

Good people dont do what he did. Hopefully this will send a message to the other unscrupulous, crooked contractors in town. There are a few worthy of the same end result...

a-1574410744 Oct 19, 2019 01:12 PM
Construction Company Owner Pleads Guilty to Fraud

Long ago I worked with this guy (and his wife). Good people. Money troubles snowball so easily in life and seemingly even more so in construction. Especially if you're ego gets in the way and allows you to forget there is no such thing as an unattractive trap.

a-1574410744 Oct 19, 2019 07:14 PM
Construction Company Owner Pleads Guilty to Fraud

If you're content, fine. But he is a criminal and screwed over lots of people. What is it with sons of construction dynasties in SB?! Looking at RP Richards...

a-1574410744 Oct 19, 2019 01:45 PM
Construction Company Owner Pleads Guilty to Fraud

1:12 PM- When good people have financial problems they downsize and figure out how to live within their means. Good people don’t underpay their workers and skim taxpayer dollars. Good people don’t commit fraud for years to continue to live a lavish lifestyle. Good people don’t tarnish the family business. He is going to look good in orange.

Please Login or Register to comment on this.