A suburban contractor accused of everything from skipping rent to botched building projects and bouncing checks pled guilty to one felony count of theft related to the only case he was charged in.
Christopher Everett pled guilty to taking more than $50,000 to build a garage in Oak Brook that he did not complete. He has agreed to pay back that money and participate in the DuPage County sheriff’s work program.
“They gave him two weeks ‘hard labor’ picking-up garbage, kids could steal a pack of cigarettes and get more time than that,” said Terry Newsome, who scoured court records to find several other people who also claim they were victimized by Everett.
“We all came together as victims, citizens, to protect other citizens,” said Everett’s aunt Barb Pearson who also has a judgement against Everett for allegedly not repaying a loan.
She went to the courthouse to watch Everett enter his guilty plea. Pearson said she’s disappointed he avoided jail time.
“They let him out. What do you think he’s paying with? What assets? Someone else’s,” she said.
Prosecutors also accused Everett of 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.
After WGN Investigates’ initial report was broadcast, other people came forward to say they too had been financially victimized by Everett .
As for the failed garage project that was the genesis of the charges, home owner Chuck Thompson said he and the others pursued Everett out of principle.
“I asked him, ‘why haven’t you ever tried to apologize?’” Thompson recalled. “He said, ‘would it even help?’ I said ‘actually, for humanity, it would help.’ Maybe we wouldn’t be here today – maybe I would’ve had mercy.”
In a statement, Everett told WGN: “I will comply with all directives set forth in the plea deal agreement and the matter will be closed.” He once called the accusations against him “outright lies” and still claims reporting of the accusations against him has been “one-sided.”
Everett has until November 16 to pay Thompson or face jail time.