Friday, October 9 , 2015, 11:04 am | Fair 77º

President of Melchiori Construction Target of Criminal Probe

Sheriff's detectives are investigating Mark Melchiori, head of the bankrupt Santa Barbara company that owes millions of dollars

Melchiori Construction’s offices on De la Vina Street in Santa Barbara have been deserted since the firm filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy last month. Company president Mark Melchiori is the subject of a criminal probe, according to the Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Department.
Melchiori Construction’s offices on De la Vina Street in Santa Barbara have been deserted since the firm filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy last month. Company president Mark Melchiori is the subject of a criminal probe, according to the Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Department.  (Lara Cooper / Noozhawk photo)

By Lara Cooper, Noozhawk Staff Writer | @laraanncooper |

Mark Melchiori, president of the Santa Barbara-based construction company that bears his family name, is the subject of a criminal probe by detectives looking into the now-defunct firm’s business operations, according to the Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Department.

Sgt. Mark Williams confirmed Wednesday that detectives are investigating Melchiori and Melchiori Construction Co., which was founded by his father, the late Ugo Melchiori.

Williams would not elaborate on what detectives are looking into, but the company’s financial and legal troubles have been well-documented, and there has been persistent speculation in recent weeks about whether law enforcement would get involved.

News of the criminal probe comes after a chorus of detractors complained that Melchiori owes them money, alleging that he’s hiding assets via a divorce agreement processed earlier this year.

Former employees have said that the company stopped making payroll during the summer in the wake of stalled projects and lawsuits.

The company’s former executive vice president, Jean Mollenkopf, even filed a lawsuit against the troubled company, saying she hasn’t been paid back $50,000 she withdrew from her 401(k) account to help the firm make payroll.

Other employees have said Melchiori also borrowed from their retirement accounts to make ends meet.

The outcry from Melchiori’s sub-contractors provoked a string of complaints and lawsuits against the company, with many saying they’ve never been paid for work on now-finished projects.

Another lawsuit filed by Melchiori’s stepmother alleged that his divorce from his wife earlier this year was a scheme to hide assets from creditors to which his company owes money.

Mark Melchiori did not respond to a request for comment Wednesday.

The latest twist in the Melchiori saga came to light just days after a lengthy list of the company’s creditors was filed with the U.S. Bankruptcy Court.

The company filed for bankruptcy in October, and Mark Melchiori has also filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy personally.

His paperwork, made public Monday, lists 170 creditors, among which are the Internal Revenue Service, the California State Franchise Tax Board, the City of Santa Barbara and many others.

A list of Melchiori Construction’s creditors also was filed this week, and is identical to Mark Melchiori’s personal list.

To view the whole list of Melchiori’s creditors, scroll to the bottom of this story.

Mark Melchiori reported liabilities between $10 million and $50 million, and assets between $1 million and $10 million.

The company filed for bankruptcy last month, just before a scheduled hearing before Santa Barbara Superior Court Judge Thomas Anderle, in a case involving a lawsuit filed by Santa Barbara Bank & Trust alleging that Melchiori defaulted on a $6.3 million line of credit given by the bank.

Anderle’s tentative ruling stated that the bank was entitled to appoint a receiver over the construction company.

One former creditor, listed on the bankruptcy filing, spoke with Noozhawk on the condition of anonymity Wednesday, and said he hadn’t talked to law enforcement, but had heard rumors Melchiori was behind on his tax obligations.

The creditor called it “unbelievable” that Melchiori Construction would divert money away from employees, clients and subcontractors “to pay for (Mark’s) lavish lifestyle.”

“How did he spend all of that money — over $10 million a year — or where did he hide it, are the questions I would like answered,” he said. “I truly hope that our justice system works.”

Noozhawk staff writer Lara Cooper can be reached at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). Follow Noozhawk on Twitter: @noozhawk, @NoozhawkNews and @NoozhawkBiz. Connect with Noozhawk on Facebook.

Melchiori Construction List


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» on 11.29.12 @ 11:43 AM

Follow the money- the ‘ex’ wife is the key.

» on 11.29.12 @ 12:42 PM

What a shame.  That sound you hear is Ugo twisting in his grave.  Am I the only person in California that is not owed money by Melchiori????

» on 11.29.12 @ 08:40 PM

The only thing missing from this drama is a murder.

» on 12.01.12 @ 02:04 AM

i have read several articles from Noozhawk, the Independent, and other news sources in the past that claim that Mark Melchiori “ran his father’s business into the ground” its time to gets some facts straight: first of all, Mark Melchiori took over as President of Melchiori Construction in 1995 and has served in that capacity right up to the present day. It was under Mark that the company grew to the size it became in the first place. Not Ugo. it was under Mark that the company was able to secure the contracts that birthed El Patio Gardens, St Vincents, the Granada Restoration,etc. It was under his leadership that the company grew from a staff of 5 to over 100 employees in the 17 year span. For anyone to say or imply that he is soley responsible for the company’s demise is an outright LIE. and it should be known that any publication supporting this tabloid fodder is putting its journalistic crediblity at risk. Secondly, Melchiori construction’s financial were not born from Mark Melchiori’s handling of the business. In time when the facts are made known, the public will see, just as it did in 2011 in the Chapala One case, that Mark was simply a businessman trying to juggle handling a multimillion dollar business while tolarating crooked developers, irressponsible partners, and government agencies that are not quite telling the entire truth. Lara if you would like to speak about this to me i would gladly give you FACTS so they dont become distorted any further. i would hate to see a news source such as this become nothing more than a tabloid. Follow me and i’ll show you how far the rabbit hole goes. please email me anytime at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

» on 12.01.12 @ 06:34 PM

While I’m not privy to all the things “Business Truth” must be privy to, I have to say that I agree with the sentiment.  Noozhawk… do you care at all about fact checking anything before you print it?  I think it’s your responsibility to so.  As for the comments that always seem to inevitably follow from your “tabloid journalism” pieces…. they are, in a word, ridiculous.  These incessant injections of Ugo Melchiori’s name into articles and subsequent comments, whenever this matter is written about, are sad and disturbing.  Did you people know the man?  I mean REALLY know him.  I did, and I can tell you that what “Business Truth” states is correct… Mark was not “handed” the company from his father.  While Ugo worked hard in his early years, it was his son, Mark, who built the company that so many knew to be Melchiori Construction.  The same company, that by the extension and scope of its jobs, provided work to probably thousands over the years.  That company, Ugo would not have been able to build, and I think if he were here today, he would say just that.  I also knew him well enough to know that he would, without question, stand by his son, despite what some, including his second wife, might say or imply to the contrary.  If you knew Ugo, you know that.

» on 12.02.12 @ 12:36 AM

Talk about soap opera…...First let me say it is truly unfortunate that Lara you are, and continue to be bias in your reporting and lack any fact checking whatsoever before you post your articles.  It is offensive to fair journalism. Importantly, as a person who has known Linda Cowan (Melchiori) for nearly 25 years and as far back as when she worked for Santa Barbara Bank & Trust;  I have sat back in awe never knowing truly what face she will have on any given year. As a person who knew Gerry Cowan and Mrs. Cowan (Gerry Cowan’s First Wife) as well as Ugo Melchiori and Mrs. Melchiori (Ugo Melchiori’s First Wife); Linda is a woman, who claims to be a true Christian (studies the Word of God regularly) yet has had affairs with both of Gerry and Ugo while they and she were married.  Understanding that marriages sometimes fail, it is nearly impossible for them to survive if you find your husband in a hotel room with Linda in one case and then Linda decides to help herself to the husband of her friend on the other. These albeit sad are the facts not fiction or gossip.  This entire situation is just the type of soap opera Linda loves. Now her lifestyle choices could be the next ” Fifty Shades of Gray”

» on 12.02.12 @ 01:43 PM

Obviously many of the above comments are all tied into a friendship (or maybe one of you is Mark’s attorney) but the bottom line is this.
You ordered work Mark? PAY FOR IT.  YOU GOT PAID- NOW PAY YOUR SUBS.
It is VERY simple.  Mark was a contractor KNOWN IN THE TRADES as someone that would order his subs to do the work and NOT PAY THEM.

Read the list of people he has listed in the court documents, there is nothing “tabloid” about it.  Those are all honest, hard working, small business owners that Mark was exploiting and NOT PAYING.

» on 12.02.12 @ 04:04 PM

as a person that DOES actually know Mark and has worked with him personally i will say that i agree with the Business Truth.

MesaMom… he “Ordered” people to do the work? do you have any idea how the General Contracting business actually works? in order to pay your subs you have to GET paid by the owner… each contract has a payment structure that streams from the developer/owner that hired The GC in the first place. i suggest you do the research, especially on the Chapala One case, you will see what im talking about..

as a person that ACTUALLY knows (although does not share a “friendship with mark” as you stated) the business, i will tell you that what is not mentioned about Mark is that these same subs that were “ordered to do work without getting paid” as you accused, MesaMom, these same companies consistantly came BACK to Melchiori construction submitting bids and seeking subcontracts. furthermore, he consistently awarded work to “his subs” when they werent qualified to do the work in the first place, but did so because he felt loyalty to them. There are ALOT of companies in this town that owe their complete EXISTANCE to Melchiori Construction. Its a shame that the Loyalty he showed to these sub contractors wasnt reciprocated now that the gravy train has stopped.

of course Melchiori Construction owes money… thats what happens when a company goes belly up… but if you look into WHY the company struggled, it wasnt because he wasnt paying or because of Mark’s irresponsible leadership… it was because Melchiori Construction wasnt GETTING paid.

as far as the UCSB contract is concerned, the public should know that Melchiori wasnt “fired” from the job, as has been posted by Noozhawk, KEYT, The Independant, etc. Melchiori actually QUIT the job because UCSB was behind on payments… just another instance of an owner not paying.. but after Melchiori issued a 30 day notice to stop due to non payment, the University gave Melchiori a 10 day stop notice, effectively “firing” the company AFTER they quit.

these are the kinds of FACTS that are missed in these articles that i think “business truth” was eluding to. im glad there are a number of subcontractors in this town that continue to support Mark and the company. This story is a sad one, but to paint Mark Melchiori as some sort of Greedy “monopoly man” type of character who ran off with other peoples money and then attempted to shield his assets via divorce is outright TABLOID material. This man has lost his business, his marriage, his personal wealth, and his reputation. and the truly shameful thing is the people that continue to kick a guy when hes down because they dont have the balls to handle taking it in the shorts a little. NOBODY has lost anything more than Mark Melchiori has in this tradgedy. Anyone who says or believes otherwise without FACTUAL knowledge of the series of events or how General Contracting even works in the first place is downright ignorant and irressponsible.

my $0.02

» on 12.02.12 @ 05:20 PM

Soap opera continued! Thanks for explaining how contracting works,
MesaMom I guess we both have received an education now.  I still would like to know which face Linda Cowan/Melchiori is wearing this year???

» on 12.03.12 @ 12:21 AM

I’m going to finish with one last comment… and that is this:
As someone that is actually ON THE COURT LIST of people Mark owes money to I strongly disagree with all this hot air some of you are trying to blow up my ass.

I am one of MANY people that worked for Mark (as a sub) and no, I wasn’t “ordered to work” (as implied above) I clearly had a choice… however Mark DID “order my work”... and we did have a contract, and now I am just a name on a list in a court hearing. 
However,  much like a restaurant; you order, they bring you whatever you ask for and in good faith they bring you food thinking you will pay when your meal is done.

You’re lavish meal ticket is done Mark.
Time to pay up.

But I like how many are trying to deter from this fact and make this a “tabloid” story.  Once again, it is very simple.  PAY FOR WHAT YOU ORDER OR DO NOT ORDER IT.

Please Noozhawk… continue to be the voice for so many of us that don’t have one.

» on 12.03.12 @ 02:08 PM

Good article, Lara.  Keep up the good work and continue to investigate.  Mark will indeed get what’s coming to him.  He screwed so many people out of their earned income and now he is getting what he deserves.  Hope he likes the color orange because there’s a lovely jumpsuit waiting from him in jail.  Not sure if they allow hair gel in prison, Mark.

» on 12.03.12 @ 02:09 PM

MesaMom, Im really interested to find out why so much of your hostility is directed so much at Mark Melchiori personally, when MELCHIORI CONSTRUCTION COMPANY is the company that hired you as a subcontractor and now owes you money. are you aware that Mark Melchiori is/was not the sole owner of the company? Did you know that there are two other owners of the company-Steven Pivato, and Oliver Zillioto (who most in the local industry believe his lack of business knowledge and lack of professionalism is one of the main contributing factors to the demise of the company) are equally responsible and liable for the company’s debt? Why are your bitter tirades directed at Mark? What about Mr Zillioto and Mr Pivato’s “lavish meal ticket(s)”? the fact that you are pointing your aggression soley at Mark Melchiori is making me question the validity of your association with the company itself, since you are seemingly unaware of who actually owes you the money.

all your comments are starting to come off as a jealousy of a man who until this sad series of events has enjoyed success and growth.

» on 12.03.12 @ 02:29 PM

Mark’s other two partners were not equal partners and were misled, misinformed and lied to by Mark.  He was the one signing the checks.  He was the one begging his employees to loan him their 401(k)s knowing full well he wouldn’t pay them back.  He was the one who knew health insurance had been stopped but still took deductions from his employees payroll checks (and didn’t tell his employees).  He’s a thief and a liar.  Look at the timing, people.  He and Heather ask Linda Melchiori for a loan, file for “divorce” days later (after never separating from his “wife” or telling anyone they were having problems), about to go into receivorship, divorce granted (by the way, they still live together in their house in Montecito) and next day files for bankruptcy?  What a joke.  Mark was paid for jobs but kept the $ for himself and never paid subs (Mountain Drive).  Forensic accounting will get to the bottom of it and the truth will come out.

I’m all for loyalty and giving credit where credit is due, but Mark continued to live a lifestyle he couldn’t afford and took care of himself with no regard for his employees or subcontractors.  Whatever moral compass he had became broken the day Ugo died.  He has destroyed people’s retirement, has stolen people’s earned income, and so much more.  He will get what he deserves.  It’s just a matter of time.  Tick tock, Mark.

» on 12.03.12 @ 03:03 PM

MccKarma - very interesting points. although i believe what SantaBitterBarbara was not that Mark’s partners were not equal in a sense that they had equal share of the company, it was that they share equal responsiblity for the debt. As far as your accusations that “Mark knew full well he wouldnt be paying them back” or that Mark is a “thief and a liar” are just that…accusations. They carry no credibility without FACTS. Everything you just stated is opinion, not FACT. Its unfortunate that you believe those things, but you are afforded to your right of opinion. Since you shared some pretty exclusive “information” you sound like a bitter ex-employee. Maybe even at the executive level. You are either one of the many that Mark helped buy a house for, or gave un-earned raises too, or let moonlight and start side businesses, or one of the underqualified, incompetent employees that Mark kept employed against his better judgement because he felt a responsibility to your family. Either way, you should be ashamed that you would post these things. The company itself had been in trouble for some time before these events transpired yet you continued your employment as long as the gravy train was still pulling up to your station.

as for MesaMom - obviously you are one of those uninformed subs that either didnt know how or just chose to ignore reading your contract with MCC. SUBS DONT GET PAID UNTIL THE GC GETS PAID. You are probably one of the dozens of subs that Mark his dad tried to help because you are local. maybe that was one of his mistakes. Remember, out of town contractors dont care about local contractors.

and as for that list of so called “creditors”, those were taken from a vendors list and Mark doesnt neccessarily owe money to them. They are listed for protection in bankruptcy court (as is obvious to anyone who reads since Mark’s personal holdings are listed as well) Again another thing missed by Lara’s “investigation”.

i anticipate more hot air from bitter ex employees and former sub contractors to follow. just remember to STAY FOCUSED on facts and keep things in perspective. Say what you will about the failure of the company, but over the past 20 years Melchiori Construction Company has been responsible for thousands of jobs and hundreds of millions of dollars into the local economy. In the end the truth will be told, and i hope everyone involved is exposed for the mistruths and defamation occuring.

» on 12.03.12 @ 08:56 PM

Looks like Mark made some Noozhawk accounts!  Even attacking the minority owners (who founded the company with Ugo), nice.

» on 12.03.12 @ 11:40 PM

good job “pennyforyourthought” wrote all that by yourself without spell check.  WE WILL FOCUS AND NOT LET UP.  DO NOT PAINT MARK MELCHIORI AS A SAINT>>>>>>>>>>>>>>HE IS NOT.  HE DROVE THE EXPENSIVE CARS OFF THE CLIFF.  His loyal subs and employees did not.

» on 12.03.12 @ 11:46 PM

good job PennyForYourThoughts….do you write that all by yourself….no spell check… hel for BIG BROTHER????

WE WILL KEEP THE FOCUS.  MARK J. MELCHIORI IS A LIAR AND HE KNOWS IT.  LOOK IN THE MIRROR MARK!!!!  Your time is here and you can’t continue to hide behind to the CORPORATE CLOAK.

» on 12.04.12 @ 12:15 AM

pennyforyourthoughts must be on Mark’s payroll… out he does pay payroll taxes….or benefits

» on 12.04.12 @ 12:31 AM



» on 12.04.12 @ 12:40 AM


» on 12.04.12 @ 04:57 AM

They say Ugo loved the rain. When it unexpectedly rained at his funeral, his friends and family could feel his presence.  It has been ominous that immediately following Melchiori’s personal bankruptcy (covering the tracks from the construction company’s bankruptcy) it has rained non-stop for a week.  Undoubtedly, Ugo’s tears.

» on 12.04.12 @ 05:30 AM

WOW! coolhand, must have struck a cord , and nope just a friend great how you strung all thoes comments together suppose you want mark to make your house pmts. for you the way mark doesen"t have a payroll.

» on 12.04.12 @ 02:36 PM

Pennyforyourthoughts…you have no idea the scope of the fraud and theft by Melchiori.  And let’s be clear, it wasn’t Mark out there hustling for jobs.  It was his employees putting the bids together, making the presentations and working directly with the subs and communicating with the clients.  All Mark did was hide in his office and verbally berate his subs behind closed doors and then always asked them if they could “wait a few more days” to get paid for a job knowing that his company was already paid for the job.  He needed the time to shift that $ away from his employees, subs, etc.  How else can a guy who is “bankrupt” afford all these attorneys?  The attorneys I know don’t work for free and most want substantial retainers in cases such as these.  There’s a slush fund (or two or three) out there.  Josh Lynn is not a stupid guy.  Mark already owes him over $70,000 from the Chapala One case.  Why would he continue to represent Mark unless he was assured (i.e., has proof that Mark (or Heather, the “ex-wife”) does in fact have undisclosed assets, accounts etc.) he would be paid the debt owed and the future cost of defending the jackass in a criminal case(s)?  The charade of Mark being this generous, loyal, kind employer is just that, a charade.  He cares about one person and one person only, himself.  His lifestyle was focused on keeping up with the Jones’s and his long-time, dedicated, hard-working, skilled employees have suffered tremendously.  He will get his due.

» on 12.04.12 @ 03:49 PM

MCCKarma, your accusations are very numerous and seemingly very insightful at first, lets look at the missing pieces to your argument.

what is missed is that until Don Hughes decided to stiff Melchiori Construction on the Chapala One case, Mark, the company, his employees, and his subs enjoyed a healthy working relationships throughout the years. to me Don Hughes is real culprit here. the demise of MCC started with HIM.. Not Mark. If Mark was such a scam artist, why else would these same subs and employees, who you say were so taken advantage of and scammed, continue their relationship with the company? like you said, MCCKarma, he had dedicated, hardworking, LONG TIME EMPLOYEES. why would employees continue to work for so long if they were taken advantage of…? NOT ONLY THAT… WHY WOULD EMPLOYEES OFFER THEIR RETIREMENT MONEY AS A LOAN TO KEEP THE COMPANY ALIVE IF THEY KNEW MARK WAS A THIEF AND A LIAR AND ONLY LOOKING OUT FOR HIMSELF? These people believed in Mark and the company and KNEW the company was in trouble yet OFFERED up their 401ks.. they werent FORCED into giving it. i know personally that some people chose NOT to loan their 401ks because of the fact they knew the company was in trouble. it was no secret in the halls of the office that the company was in a downward spiral since the Chapala One case. no GC in this town can take a 7 million dollar hit and keep its doors open.

finally, as a subcontractor that is included on the list and is owed a substatial amount of money from Melchiori Construction Company (and i will say probably more than most on the list), i will say that my comments come in support of Mark and the company because i have gotten a great deal of work from them over the years and i would go as far as to say that i would not be where i am at without the amount of work i got from Mark and MCC….it was a sad series of events that started the decline of a once great company.. and it all started with Don Hughes.. im wondering why the same slander and defamation aimed so vigourously at Mark Melchiori is not pointed in the most obvious direction. There was only one guy here that as of this point in time the courts have said did not pay their bills. that was Donald Hughes…everything else is the collateral damage.

i will end by saying this…as far as your allegations of slush fund attorneys and dramatic shananigans… i personally dont think Mark has any stashed money away somewhere..but i hope he does.

» on 12.04.12 @ 05:19 PM

Penny…those employees were told their loans would benefit the company, not Mark personally.  While it’s something I wouldn’t do if my employer asked, they had a dedication and devotion to Mark and a loyalty to the company that should be commended.  He took advantage of that dedication and was quite convincing and he continually promised to pay them back and never did while $ was in fact coming in to the company. He was the only one signing the checks…to himself and not to the employees who generously helped him.  Why do you think Linda Melchiori loaned Mark and Heather that $100,000?  She was his stepmother.  Granted, her income was tied to the company since Ugo passed away.  But she did it because he was Ugo’s son and Heather was Ugo’s evil daughter-in-law.     

You’re right, a number of subs hurt by Mark continued to bid on jobs.  You are one of those subs.  They needed the work in a tough economy.  The more likely answer as to why they continued to do work for Melchiori was they accepted the jobs based on their positive working relationships with the Melchiori employees.  They didn’t have to deal with the arrogant, pompous Mark on a day-to-day basis.  They worked with people who were professional, honest and ethical.  Those are words Mark cannot use to describe himself.

And, news alert, Don Hughes did in fact pay a huge chunk of $ from the civil lawsuit to Melchiori.  The misconception that Melchiori wasn’t paid anything by Hughes is another blatant lie.  That’s the story Mark likes to publicize. He was never honest with the subs on that project about that. 

The forensic accountants that the IRS, FTB, Santa Barbara Sheriff’s office, and US Labor will utilize to search through Melchiori’s throngs of accounts/sham companies will ultimately prove your faith in Mark is misguided. 

Former Melchiori employees continued to give Mark the benefit of the doubt because they didn’t want to see the company go under.  They were committed to seeing the jobs they were working on were completed and the clients were satisfied.  Of course, they wanted to keep their jobs, who wouldn’t?  But there was no gravy train for these people.  They earned decent salaries, not outrageous salaries.  The only one making outrageous money was Mark. 

It became increasingly clear that it was an exercise in futility to continue to show loyalty to someone who stole retirements and didn’t pay earned salaries and benefits.  Continued broken promises by Mark, lying to their faces, lying to subs, it all got too much.  It was a difficult pill to swallow but eventually, they left feeling disappointed, defrauded and disgusted.  I suspect you will feel that same way was once you understand the magnitude of Mark’s deception and deceit.  He’s a crook and a scumbag.  It may take a while, but he will certainly end up in jail.  “Good people” have gone to prison for alot less.  Mark is not a good person.

» on 12.04.12 @ 07:08 PM

thank you Karma.

» on 12.04.12 @ 09:45 PM

KarmaMCC / CoolHandLuck - well, its obvious by now that you two are either a former employees or a spouses of a former employees, and i believe that you both should get your retirement money back, should you have both loaned to the company… you worked for it. you earned it. you deserve it. you should get it back.let me start off by saying that.
however, to accuse someone of thievery and deception without any facts is downright irresponsible…i personally have loaned Mark and Melchiori Construction money and i am one of the bigger creditors to the company, and i can tell you at no time did i have any illusions of the fact that i may not get my money back from MCC should the company not survive. Thats the way loans work. MCC has always been about a family oriented company that is loyal to its employees. There were many employees, and STILL are employees that continue to work on their OWN time to help Mark here or there and there are also many sub contractors that are owed money by Mark that continue to support him and defend him in this mess… i am proudly one of those..

you are correct however, that Linda Melchiori DID loan the company 100,000. (although it should be noted that the 100k that Linda loaned the company came from Ugo’s estate, not hers… another fact missed in Lara Cooper’s “investigation”) and alot of other people, included myself, dived in and tried to help Mark and the company financially. It didnt pan out. The money wasnt enough. its a sad REALITY.

it is also a fact that Mark Melchiori does not have the money to repay the creditors for what is owed, including the former employees that lent the money out of the 401k.. That also is unfortunate. But to accuse Mark of deliberately not paying or accusing of borrowing (or “stole” to use your word) without having any intention of paying the money is NOT a FACT. it is just an accusation, not supported by any FACT. its a conspiracy theory, at best… and we all know how accurate those are. The Federal Investigators and SB Sherrifs dept will find that out. when i personally questioned Mark about my personal debt to him and the company i was shown some of the paperwork , and i will tell you that even though i am owed upwards of six figures by Mark and MCC,and as of now i am satisfied with the forensics that i have been shown. THERE IS NO MONEY.
And yes, Mark can be a bit arrogant, he can be a bit eccentric, but hes italian, it comes with the territory. That doesnt make him a deadbeat or a criminal. to use words like that attacking a person’s character based on his personality traits and his salary just comes off as downright JEALOUSY. Furthermore, im sure Mark did have a handsome salary…  as he should have! he was the President and CEO of a at one time 60 million dollar/year company! he also had all the RISK! either way, the forensics have already shown that he also leveraged his own holdings and his own money BACK into the company in an effort to save it as well.
I will say i find it interesting that MCC’s former general manager, Jean Mollenkopf, also   worked for 2 other prominent companies locally that also went belly up, including RP Richards. There were a few employees at or near her level that also worked for these companies. it could be said that Mark was a victim of incompentent staff with a track record of running businesses into the ground, given their track record. i think that makes 3 for ole Ms Mollenkopf… but that again would just be monday morning quarterbacking and just as irresponsible of an attack.
The sad reality is that Ugo Melchiori has passed away. Corporate officer Steve Pivato has already gone to work for another outfit in town and Corporate Officer Oliver Zillioto is also doing just fine.. their marriages intact, and their finances secure (for now). The only one suffering under public accusation, scrutiny, and financial ruin is MARK J MELCHIORI… in time SBBT, the federal investigators, and other forensic accountants WILL see what is already obvious to anyone involved. what we have here is a clear cut case of people who have lost in some way financially and and are looking for someone to blame in an effort to recoup their losses.. its a pathetic end game strategy if you ask me. Any business person worth their salt wouldnt kick a person when their down for a few bucks, especially after making so much of the money off that person in the first place.

and finally KarmaMcc/CoolHandLuke , the more the both of you attack Mark personally i wonder who you two REALLY are, ? you two have, with your above posts, publicly accused Mark J Melchiori of theft, fraud, deception, and money laundering. i wonder if either of the two of you would be willing to state who YOU are publicly here on Noozhawk and bet your very own freedom by identifying yourself seeing as this could be a form of defamation, should you be wrong.  You probably will not, and that is and should be proof enough to me and anyone reading these commments that you MccKarma nor you CoolHandLuke nor is anyone else 100% positive that Mark is intentionally defrauding his employees or business associates out of money.

KarmaMCC or CoolHandLuke…would either of you bet your OWN Freedom on it? how much do you really KNOW? or are these just empty accusations from a bitter ex employee(s) looking to blame someone and kick them when they are down to get their vacation money back? Put up or Shut up.

» on 12.04.12 @ 10:48 PM

come on Ms. Penny…...botox got your tongue???

» on 12.04.12 @ 11:46 PM

Ms. Penny you clearly are on some sort of medication. Just a “friend” you say….interesting how a good old “friend” knows so much.  Or maybe you are MARK J.MELCHIORI himself.  If he was so inocent why didn’t he show for his hearing today??  Interesting isn’t it Ms. Penny. 

We will see…..nothing I have said is not true…...THEY ARE THE FACTS.  It will all come out in the wash soon.

Thanks you and good night.

» on 12.05.12 @ 12:06 AM

Well Ms. Penny I guess if you are one of the “biggest creditors” I will see you on the 19th.  If the hearing goes thru.

» on 12.05.12 @ 12:58 AM

I feel sad for Mark.  He is a clinical narcecist.  In his mind the world revolves around him, except when there is blame, then it is somebody elses fault.  He thinks he created all those jobs for his employees and subcontractors.  If Melchiori wasn’t building the projects another contractor would have…and that contractor would have probably paid its bills…and our community would better for it.

It is all about Mark.  Time has shown that performing the work, was not his risk, it was his employees’, subcontractors’, clients’, community’s, and bonding company’s risk.  They are the ones left paying for Mark’s lavish lifestyle.

When Mark collected the $3mil from Don Hughes, did Mark pay his attourney’s, his employees loans, his employees payroll, his subcontractors, the bank…the answer is no (these people are still creditors).  It is all about Mark. 

Didn’t the Newspress state that Mark transfered $6mil in assets to Heather during the divorce?

We should all feel sorry for Mark, what a guy!

» on 12.05.12 @ 01:07 AM

Come on Ms. Penny…...Are you going to be at the hearing on the 19th.  I will be there per your request to reveal myself.

Should be fun.

» on 12.05.12 @ 02:30 AM

i am NOT Mark Melchiori as you are suggesting, nor do i desire to be in the position people like yourself have helped put him in.

However, i was very clear in my request for you to reveal yourself here on this thread that way you can be tied to the comments and accusations you have made above previously. by ignoring my request, you obviously do not want to do that for a reason.

of course you would want to wait for the 19th to reveal yourself so you can sit quietly in the room and wait for the powers that be to fight the battle and ask the tough questions for you, shielding yourself from the risk committing defamation as you have today. but what else would i expect but a cowardly strategy from such a cowardly person.

if you read the article written yesterday by Lara Cooper it was clear why Mark wasnt at the meeting:

“Melchiori’s attorney, Joshua Lynn, was also present and said the hearing was continued because of the Sheriff’s Department comments publicly to news organizations about investigating Mark Melchiori and the company, and that the continuance was “standard procedure.”

Lynn said Melchiori wanted to be at the proceeding, but that Lynn had advised him not to attend “out of an abundance of caution.”

all this bantering is just making you and people like you look more and more desperate to generate a negative public opinion about a man because you think in some cosmic realm this may carry favor with the courts. However you have not stated ONE fact that is substatiated with any solid evidence.oh and by the way, just typing out “these are facts” does not make them so.

on the 19th i will be at the hearing and i can assume my opinion of the series of events will more than likely carry alot more weight since i am assuming i havealot more money owed to me than you. i hate to sound so petty and childish but it seems like that is all you can speak or understand…

i repeat…put up or shut up.

» on 12.05.12 @ 03:37 AM

Penny…which set of accounting books did Mark show you?  Only the one he wanted you to see.  He did the same thing to me and I learned that after the fact.  I’m a sub who is owed money and feel no need to identify myself because you think I should.  I don’t see you identifying yourself as you demand of me
and coolhandluke, who by the way, I have no idea who he or she is. 

I know what I know from meetings, conversations and professional relationships with many former Melchiori employees and and with Mark himself, as well as other subs who were told similar BS from Mark. 

You should continue to be loyal to Mark.  He’s got very few friends left and he’s going to need people like you to visit him in jail.  See you on the 19th.

» on 12.05.12 @ 12:12 PM

Wow-So many points of view!

I’ve Lived here awhile, so let me make a program for everyone:

“Business Truth”  =  Mark himself!

“805 Native” = Lina Rosa Vendrosco

“A Rebel” - Heather Melchiori

“agiov01” = Easy one, Alan Giovanochi (who has a shell Giovanochi Construction, the “Forensics” Penny talks about (big word-she must have heard someone threaten Mark with that) will show quite a bit of money transferring there.

“SantaBitterBarbara”  = Mark again

“PennyForYoutThoughts” = Heather again!

“Karmamcc”  = Could be anyone, Mark screwed so many people over.

“coolhandluke” = Could be anyone, sounds like one of the many subs Mark stole from.

“Porclair” = I’m thinking Linda Melchiori

Great reporting Lara-please do a long-form investigative article, this is such an interesting and tragic story.

» on 12.05.12 @ 01:10 PM

sounds like someone thinks they know alot agian, any body else want to guess?

» on 12.05.12 @ 01:22 PM

actually i am not Alan Giovanochi… and i have been reading all these posts going back and forth and i think both sides have points… i think people that loaned money to Mark or the company should get their money back… but i believe that everyone has their day in court…and that even though there is a investigation nobody has been arrested or indicted for anything yet.

common sense tells me that if the investigators know what Karma, Porclair, BeenHereAwhile, and CoolLuke seem to know… then why hasnt Mark been arrested? why isnt it as clear to them as you all have made it seem…? PennyForYourThoughts has made some great points, and so has Karma…im reserving judgement until the facts are known, not just assumed.

» on 12.05.12 @ 01:59 PM

agioV1…criminal investigations take a while and given the enormity of Mark’s transgressions, it likely won’t be until 2013 until he’s charged.  Lawyer friends in the know have indicated it’s just a matter of time before the FBI and CA Attorney General’s office get involved…it’s that large in scope.

» on 12.05.12 @ 03:00 PM

blue top - DO NOT speak about my uncle….ever! Nothing pisses me off more then people speaking for the dead. You could not and do not know what my ZIO UGO would have thought of this situation so please keep those kinds of comments to yourself.

» on 12.05.12 @ 03:04 PM

Lived here awhile - Are you in 3rd grade?! You current comments lead me to believe you are a child. If not sure and many others here are acting like children. Linarosa & Mark are my family and I don’t appreciate the speculations. There is no need for it and a lot of what is being said here by many borders on slander which is illegal. I suggest you all watch what you say, freedom of speech only extends so far. Behave as adults and let the courts decide this matter. Grow up and act like adults!

» on 12.05.12 @ 04:10 PM

“Lived Here Awhile” seems to name me as one of alias listed i say to you—-you don’t know me… For The Record…
IF I have something to say I will say it to your face and if I put it in writting I will not hide behide an Alias, I will use my own name one I am proud of Linarosa Vendrasco (spell it right please)..
I will say this what has happened to Melchiori Construction Company is a sad tragedy and people were hurt and for that I am truly sorry..
Thank you for listening

» on 12.05.12 @ 04:17 PM

well said chirstine could"t have said it better myself

» on 12.05.12 @ 04:26 PM

Truth is never slander.

And Linarosa and Alan, I hope you’re both lawyered up.  Don’t think Mark is looking out for your best interests.  Hate to see you get thrown under the bus like everyone else (think back on all those money transfers and cooked books you helped with). Consider cutting a deal with prosecutors quickly, they won’t care about you if you help them get the bigger fish.

» on 12.05.12 @ 05:02 PM

Excellent advice, Lived Here a While.  Mark will look out for #1 and #1 only, himself.  Loyalty is a two way street and Mark will not have a second thought about screwing his family members in an attempt to save his arse.  Lena and Alan…run to the DA/Sheriff/IRS/FTB/US Dept. of Labor now, cut a deal and save yourselves!

» on 12.05.12 @ 06:06 PM

I was wrong my apologizes. The extreme negative comments on here are not considered slander by California Law they are considered LIBEL.

Read this…

That’s why I suggest to all of you to keep your harsh statements to yourselves. Let the courts and the attorneys straighten it all out. You are not doing yourself any good by making accusations and negative comments.

And trying to pit family against family?! Shame on you!

» on 12.05.12 @ 09:10 PM

This is the BEST THREAD I have EVER read on Noozhawk!!!!

And for the record I’m on team KARMAMCC 100%....

» on 12.06.12 @ 01:39 AM

Thanks, SBMLocal.  I’m sure you are one of the many good guys who got screwed by MCC/MJM in some substantial way.  What goes around comes around and Mark will get his due.

» on 12.06.12 @ 02:11 PM

well.. for the record im on Team “owed more money than you and still not a bitter jealous ex-employee”

» on 12.06.12 @ 05:11 PM

Penny…if you are a creditor owed six-figures from Mark, you must be either Heather Melchiori owed $835,000? Or the IRS owed $215,108.  Or Mark himself owed $3,122,500?  Or Robo Bank owed $1,349,000.  Or Steve Pivato owed $155,000?  Or Diani owed $275,000?  Or Linda Melchiori owed $100,000?  Or Door Stop owed $109,000?  Or Blum & Sons owed $175,000?  Or Hardin & Coffin owed $110,000?  Or Alan Giovanacci owed $225,000?  Or Santa Barbara Bank & Trust owed $7,563,118?

The amounts really don’t matter at this point.  It’s the principle of it now.  We (the collective creditors) are never going to get the money we are owed and deserve, quite frankly, from Mark or the company.  But shouldn’t he be held responsible and accountable for the financial suffering caused to so many under his management of the company?  I think he should, and I’m assuming that all of the other lower amount creditors believe as well.  You keep saying all of his ex-employees are bitter or jealous.  I don’t think that is true.  They have moved on to work for ethical, honest employers.  They, like the subs on the list, simply want justice.  That will come in time.  We just have to be patient.

» on 12.08.12 @ 10:53 PM

This will be my final comment:

First off i want to thank KarmaMCC for noting the actual amounts owed to people by MCC, inc. anyone who can count can see that Mark and Heather Melchoiri together are owed upwards of 4 million dollars from the company, substantially more than anyone on the creditors list (not withstanding the obvious 9 million debt to SBBT).

That speaks to 2 things:

1.Mark J Melchiori, while asking employees and friends to borrow money to pump into the company in an effort to save it, he also put his OWN PERSONAL ASSETS into it as well, regardless of the amount of money he took as a salary. in the end, he put it all back…and THEN some. will notice that although Mark Melchiori had partners, albeit minority controlling partners, neither of them gave an inkling in comparison to the amounts that Mark did. In fact, you will notice among the largest creditors, NONE OF THEM INCLUDE OLIVER ZILLIOTO, who is the wealthiest out of the three. The reason for that is he never attempted to help the company finacially the way you, i , or Mark Melchiori, or any others attempted to. He stood by and did nothing and collect a check until none could be collected any further.

these two FACTS alone basically shoot down the notion that Mark Melchoiri is and has been nothing but a greedy thief and a liar, only looking out for #1. In contrast he was a business man, albeit shrewd and skarky, which i personally believe is a result of the enviroment he occupied for the last 17 years. Anyone who KNOWS this business like i do knows that it can be a bloodsport. The numbers tell quite a different story than the ones you and so many others conjure up in an effort to paint an ugly picture of a man that employed you for so many years. Rather, i believe he was tring his best to make the ends meet in order to keep people like yourself employed…even risking his own personal fortune.

back to my point, if you do the math, not withsanding the 4 million that is owed to Mark and Heather Melchiori, who now have to seperate their collective debt due to their divorce, which is sad in and of itself, if you are to subtract that money from the total amount owed to SBBT, the remaining amount is around 5 million dollars, coincidentally amount that is STILL owed by Don Hughes,in fact that is the LOW number, if you include penalties and interest. He is the culprit here, NOT Mark Melchori.

also, KarmaMCC, as a former employee, im assuming, you should know that MCC still hold outstanding balances owed to it by UCSB, (which is the reason for the conflicts that led to MCC’s subsequent “resignation/firing”. From what the records show, MCC was not PAID any monies by UCSB for 8 months - August of 2011 to March of 2012. however, According the Noozhawk the UCSB Ocean Sciences building was completed 60% The Bacara is another business/project that also still owes a substantial balance to MCC.

so you see, KarmaMCC/CoolHandLuke, there is more to the story than what meets the eye. The peanut gallery, including the local media (Noozhawk,Keyt,Independant,etc) and people like you can continue to spew your opinions and allegations without facts, but reality will set in when the numbers start to come forth and i believe when, not IF Mark Melchiori is vindicated, all of you will go back to your everyday lives, maybe a couple of thousands of dollars poorer,which is sad, but not to the extent to which Mark Melchiori will. He collected much from MCC, but he also poured much in . More than YOU, i, or any other person

now as to who i am, i will tell you that i am Alan F Giovanacci. i worked with Ugo Melchiori for over 40 years, and oversaw some of MCC’s largest projects including El Patio, QAD, The Foothills at San Marcos, St Vincents Mercy Housing Project, and many other smaller projects) i am also owed a substatial amount to Melchiori Construction and have known of the woes facing the company since i retired in 2011. i did so because i knew, as you did, that the company was in trouble and i wanted to help, just as you did. i think the differnce between the myself and so many other ex employees is that ive known Mark his entire life and has seen him struggle to keep the company afloat LONG BEFORE any of these events took place. i know his mind, and i am confident of his character.

i have identified myself, KarmaMCC and CoolhandLuke. i do so because i am confident that i have FACTS to back up my you have the balls to do the same? or are you just going to continue to hide behind your aliases which are as empty as your allegations? i look forward to your responses in the next comment below.

oh and by the way… its MR Penny to you.

see YOU on the 19th.

» on 12.12.12 @ 02:39 AM

Alan knows how to type?

» on 12.14.12 @ 09:26 PM

Yea I;m capable of a lot of things which you are probably not aware of. But one of those is not being a coward. Mr. Penny.

» on 12.14.12 @ 09:36 PM

So why don"t you Cowards drop your assumed names and show some balls.

» on 12.17.12 @ 01:49 AM

Mr. Penny;  The debacle that happened at Melchiori Construction Company lies solely on Mark J. Melchiori’s shoulders.  Only Mark had control of company funds and he ran the company into the ground to fund his extreme and elaborate life style.  For you to defend your cousin by blaming any of Melchiori’s hard working former staff, is not only wrong, but completely dillusional. Stop the mindless banter, Mr. Penney, as Mark’s gutting of the company cannot be defended.

» on 12.19.12 @ 01:22 PM

What time is the hearing?

» on 12.19.12 @ 04:46 PM

1:30 p.m. officially but Trustee informed me it may start closer to 2:00 p.m. today.

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