A suburban contractor accused of scamming several people – including his own relative – is now facing new charges after a series of WGN Investigates reports.
“Oh my God, has this guy done it again?”
That was the reaction of Rick Sperando, the founder and president of Black Diamond Plumbing, when he saw WGN’s first report about contractor Christopher Everett in February. The story detailed home repair fraud and theft charges filed against Everett relating to an Oak Brook project. Others also came forward accusing the contractor of being a serial rent skipper, failing to finish home renovation jobs he had been paid for, sabotaging a sump pump and failing to fully repay an $18,000 loan from a family member.
In Western Springs, Pete Bucciarelli has a default judgment against Everett totaling $1.6 million after a failed development project.
WGN Investigates learned about it in late February after the first report aired.
“He convinced me he was a pillar of his church and ‘Mr. Wonderful’ and I fell for that,” Bucciarelli said in February. “Biggest mistake of my life.”
Now the DuPage County State’s Attorney has charged Everett with operating a “continuing financial crimes enterprise” after he allegedly wrote checks totaling $31,441 to several companies that prosecutors say he knew would be returned for lack of funds.
“I was happy to hear he was charged but I’m not 100% confident that he’s going to get what he deserves,” Sperando said.
He received several of the checks and now has a $13,000 default judgment against Everett.
Everett pled not guilty to the charges.
“In no way was my faith, or my involvement in church, ever used to gain trust,” Everett told WGN Investigates in a message in February. “It is my intent to pay back anyone that has a legitimate claim.” He has since declined to comment and referred questions to his attorney who has not returned phone calls.