A Wellington contractor, Michael Chichelli Jr., is facing a slew of charges, including grand theft and unlicensed contracting, after allegedly scamming three couples out of more than $12,000 for hurricane screens that he never installed. According to reports by WPTV, Chichelli, whose license was revoked over a decade ago for similar offenses, is also accused of using his father's contracting license to deceive homeowners at the Ibis subdivision in West Palm Beach.
The arrest report details how Chichelli Jr. took payments for work on storm-proofing projects that never commenced, leading to grand theft charges and an additional violation for contracting without certification. Despite the promises made, Chichelli did not secure building permits, nor did he initiate any of the agreed-upon installations, leaving residents exposed and out of pocket, as per the allegations. In addition, he apparently owes $70,000 in unpaid fines to the state, stemming from prior "fraudulent dealings," an interesting fact uncovered by WFLX.
Victims Chris and Janet Silge expressed their disappointment in the contractor's broken promises. "We were pleased he was brought to justice. We were not happy about the situation," Janet Silge said in a statement obtained by WPTV. They also shared their desire for more honest communication from Chichelli, wishing he had simply refunded their money instead of stringing them along under false pretenses.
According to the police report, no attempts were made by Chichelli to reimburse the affected homeowners, further frustrating those who trusted him to protect their homes. Chris and Janet Silge hope that by speaking out, they can prevent future homeowners from falling victim to similar schemes, as they told WPTV.