DA Charges Mark Melchiori with 47 Felonies

Former Head of Melchiori Construction Faces Charges Related to Embezzlement, Fraud

A complaint filed Monday in Santa Barbara Superior Court against Mark Melchiori alleges the former president of Melchiori Construction Company committed 47 felonies from 2006-2013. The company has faced multiple lawsuits from 2011-2012, which alleged it didn’t pay its creditors and subcontractors on time.

Mark Melchiori

In the District Attorney’s Office indictment, Melchiori, 49, is charged with embezzlement, insurance and wage fraud, violating the unemployment insurance code, diverting construction funds, and committing as well as conspiring to commit grand theft. The charges carry one special allegation of aggravated white-collar crime — taking over $150,000 — and two more special allegations — taking over $100,000 and $200,000, respectively.

The complaint includes 15 charges alleging Melchiori diverted over $350,000 worth of construction funds received from filmmaker Robert Zemeckis between July 2010 and May 1, 2016. The complaint further charges Melchiori deceived the filmmaker out of property worth $53,876.

One count charges Melchiori “directed employees to misclassify employee job duties and nature of work performed by Melchiori Construction Company” on paperwork filed with Everest National Insurance Company, which lowered the premiums paid to Everest by $52,008.

Melchiori is also accused of withholding disability fund deductions from his workers, refusing to make required unemployment tax contributions, and ordering workers not to report all wages made by employees. He’s charged with stealing wages from 14 employees and discouraging one to file a workers’ compensation claim.

The DA’s Office, the Sheriff’s Office, the California Department of Industrial Relations, and the Division of Labor Standards investigated the case. Chief Deputy District Attorney Kelly Scott and real estate fraud attorney Casey Nelson are prosecuting Melchiori, who posted bail Thursday evening. Pending his July 5arraignment, it is unclear who is representing him.

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