Suburban contractor accused of fraud, theft

A suburban contractor is accused of home repair fraud and theft in a bungled project in Oak Brook.  But some of contractor Christopher Everett’s former clients, landlords and even his aunt indicate those charges don’t tell the full story.

“We can all go to in and win cases but none of us are ever going to see a dime,” said Everett’s aunt, Barb Pearson.  She and her husband said they hired Everett for a project and even loaned him $18,100 in January of 2017 when he said he was down on his luck. Pearson said Everett still owes her more than $12,000.

The Pearsons also said they arranged for Everett and his family to rent a friend’s high-end home in Burr Ridge.  Court records reveal Everett and his wife were evicted from that home in August 2018 and owed $46,800 in unpaid rent.

In Oak Brook, Chuck Thompson said he met Everett through church where they mentored teenagers together.  Thompson hired Everett to build a large garage outside his home but the project never got off the ground.

“He stole about $50,000 from this project,” Thomspon said.

The business executive said he trusted Everett and paid him up-front since the two knew each other through church.

Even the west suburban church Everett attended grew weary of him.

“After hearing allegations by church members of misconduct by Mr. Everett in his business dealings with them, the church removed him from lay leadership roles and urged him to pursue immediate resolution with the aggrieved parties,” a church spokesman told WGN Investigates.

Terry Newsome who rented his $1.1 million home in LaGrange to Everett and his family.

“When you see this couple and hear about their religious background, they use that as a shield to suck you in,” Newsome said. “They look like a ‘Leave it to Beaver’ family.”

It led to another eviction and a default judgement of $17,500 after Newsome accused Everett of sabotaging his sump pump.

“We should be smart enough to really dig down into somebody’s background,” Newsome said.

In 2017, a judge ordered Everett to pay $140,000 after problems with a home repair job in Naperville.

Everett declined multiple requests for an interview with WGN Investigates.  At one point he suggested “the polar vortex” was the reason he couldn’t talk.  He then cancelled a meeting the following week.

However, in a letter, Everett called the allegations against him “outright lies.”

“In no way was my faith, or my involvement in church, ever used to gain trust,” Everett wrote.  “It is my intent to pay back anyone that has a legitimate claim.”

Everett is due back in court at the end of February to answer to the home repair fraud and theft charges related to the Oak Brook garage project.  However, the DuPage County State’s Attorney is said to be looking into whether other cases can be combined and prosecuted more extensively.

Read Everett's Full Response to WGN Investigates here (pdf)

 

 

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