Lottery Winner Allegedly Scammed Lexington Residents
Chelmsford resident's alleged ruse was charging for oil tank-related work he never completed.
They say winning the Lottery can ruin people’s lives, and a Chelmsford oil company owner who allegedly scammed a Lexington customer could be the latest local example.
According to the Boston Herald, Michael Santaniello, owner of Mike’s Oil Heat Service, was arrested Tuesday, July 24, and charged with scamming customers in Lexington and several nearby communities.
Santaniello allegedly told victims they needed new boilers and oil tanks and took their money but never did the work. In addition to Lexington, he repeated the scam in Bedford, Burlington, Billerica and Wilmington, and had warrants for his arrests out of Concord and Lowell district courts, the Herald reported.
Santaniello is charged with bilking 10 customers out of $10,000, but could be connected to several more related cases, prosecutors told the Herald. The charges come only three years after Santaniello won $1 million on a scratch ticket, a win which, after taxes, pays him $35,000 annually for the next 20 years.
One of the victims, Lee Ann Otis, 42, of Wilmington, described Santaniello’s rouse in an email to Wilmington Patch earlier this year.
Otis, who told the Herald she had known Santaniello for 20 years, told Patch Santaniello charged her family $700 after saying their oil tank needed immediate repair and then never showed up to perform the job and didn’t return their phone calls.
Earlier this month, Lexington Police investigated similar incidences on Earl and Meriam streets, where residents claimed they paid for the removal of oil tanks from their property, but never received the services for which they paid.
“What’s most disturbing is that this defendant continually repeated his scheme, all in an attempt to rip off vulnerable trusting members of the public who deserve better,” Middlesex District Attorney Gerard T. Leone said, via the Herald.