A construction business owner pled guilty on Friday in Santa Barbara.
Santa Barbara County District Attorney Joyce E. Dudley announced that Mark 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 and an aggravated white collar crime enhancement that the amount he took was in excess of $500,000.
The case began when Robert Zemeckis, a customer of Melchiori, filed a complaint against the Melchiori Construction Company after he paid several hundred thousand dollars for Melchiori to remodel his home.
Instead Melchiori illegally used the money for his own purposes.
After the investigation, the District Attorney’s Office found that Melchiori had used Mr. Zemeckis’ money to finance his own lavish lifestyle and to fund other projects.
With 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 he had funneled money through various companies to cover up his crimes.
Melchiori faces a maximum sentence of 9 years and 4 months in state prison.
His hearing for sentencing will be on January 8, 2020.