Santa Barbara man pleads guilty to defrauding movie director

October 19, 2019

Mark John Melchiori


The former president of a Santa Barbara County family construction company pleaded guilty on Friday to three felony charges related to ripping off a Hollywood director, according to the district attorney’s office.

In 2016, Mark John Melchiori was arrested for defrauding “Back to the Future” writer-director Robert Zemeckis, for more than $500,000. The district attorney’s office charged Melchiori with 47 felony councts including embezzlement, insurance fraud and grand theft.

Zemeckis had hired Melchiori to remodel his home. Instead, Melchiori used the money to finance his own lavish lifestyle and fund other projects, prosecutors said.

In addition to defrauding Zemeckis, prosecutors said Melchiori underpaid employees who were working on public projects and funneled the money through various companies to cover up his crimes.

Melchiori, who faces up to nine years in prison, is scheduled to be sentenced on Jan. 9.


From 47 felony counts down to three, he should do at least nine years. He has apparently violated all kinds of contracting laws, federal and state labor laws ,insurance laws (no workers comp?) not to mention employees he ripped off. Regrettably there are some unscrupulous contractors who get public works projects, hire illegals, make them cash their very good paychecks and then give the contractor back some of their hard-earned cash to keep from being turned over to ICE or whoever. They don’t complain because it is still more than they would make elsewhere. It’s total exploitation. I hope he also loses his contractors license – guys like this give other contractors a terrible name.

fat chance

This is the type of guy who gives contractors a bad name. Can’t stand guys like this.