SANTA BARBARA, Calif. - Arraignment is set next month for a Santa Barbara businessman embroiled in a 5 year long investigation.
Casey Nelson, Deputy District Attorney with the Office of the Santa Barbara County District Attorney, told NewsChannel 3 that Mark Melchiori, the former head of Melchiori Construction, faces at least 45 counts after one count was recently removed; 35 of them are felonies, 10 are misdemeanors.
Nelson called the case "complex" and said the presiding judge found enough evidence to go to trial after reviewing charges related to insurance violations, embezzlement, workmans' comp, prevailing wage and diversion of construction funds. Nelson said Melchiori faces 20 counts alone involving diversion of construction funds.
The 50-year-old defendant pleaded not guilty to all charges last year and posted bond.
Nelson said Melchiori is no longer living in the Santa Barbara area.
Arraignment is set for October 18. If convicted on all charges, Melchiori could face a maximum sentence of 46 years in prison.