Michael Mattioli: Boca Raton auto supplier charged with grand larceny after botched business deal

BOCA RATON, Fla. - Michael Mattioli made a $150,000 mistake.

Police say the 46-year-old Mattioli, a Boca Raton auto parts distributor, promised a client three multi-thousand-dollar parts orders. But after overseas prices topped what he could afford — Mattioli never delivered.

Boca police say he instead deposited the client's money into his personal business account with hopes he'd make the money back and buy the parts elsewhere. After months of stalling police, Mattioli landed in the Palm Beach County Jail on grand larceny charges.

According to an arrest report by Boca Raton Police, it began with a successful deal on May 10, 2011:

Wholesaler Alex Luk ordered small containers of oil from Mattioli for $28,644 and got the items in short order. So when Mattioli called 10 days later with a good deal on WD-40, Luk jumped on it.

He cut a check for $62,660 to Ekim X International – Mattioli's business account – and ordered the WD-40.

New business began 11 days later on May 31, when Luk wired $57,288 to the same JP Morgan Chase account for Value Tech 40 Motor Oil. He cut another check to Mattioli for $2,980 a week later, this time for hydraulic supplies.

A couple months passed — and Luk didn't get his orders.

He called Mattioli, who said his supplier took the money and didn't send the supplies.

Luk and his accountant then reached out to Mattioli on Oct. 22 and Oct. 27, requesting to meet and talk about their botched business.

Mattioli never responded.

Luk finally got through to Mattioli with text messages. He told Mattioli he wanted the supplies he ordered, or — at the very least — he wanted his money back. Mattioli only offered excuses, the report says.

Luk next demanded to see the invoices between Mattioli and his supplier, but Mattioli ignored his requests.

Mattioli promised he would return the money or buy Luk other supplies in place of those he originally ordered.

"But these promises were not met," a detective wrote in the report.

Less than a year later, on June 25, Mattioli's phone rang: it was a Boca Raton detective. He wanted the story.

Mattioli said he purchased the supplies from Panama, and the items were supposed to be delivered to Miami. But the shipment never came, and Mattioli began to think he was a victim.

The detective asked Mattioli to show him invoices from the Panama deal, and Mattioli agreed.

They made an appointment to meet twice over the next week, but Mattioli canceled on both occasions.

On July 2, the detective reminded Mattioli he still wanted to see the documents.

"He responded that he did not want to open up more problems with the people overseas," the report says.

On July 11, when Mattioli showed up empty-handed, the detective asked to see his bank statements. Mattioli agreed and left the station.

The detective called Mattioli several times before he finally faxed over the statements – but they were heavily redacted.

The statement appeared to show the amount of money received by Mattioli's business and the amount of money withdrawn by an institution in the United Kingdom, Dubai and Chile.

Mattioli blacked out the amounts, so the detective subpoenaed his accounts.

Records showed Mattioli sent $148,465 to the account of his personal business, Muscle Distributors.

On Sept. 20, Mattioli returned to the police station and swore to tell the truth. He said most of the amounts in his account came from Luk's checks and wires, but $53,000 went to Chile to buy new parts.

He said he dealt with two men named Boris and Roland in Panama City – the men who allegedly ripped him off – and he would give detectives their numbers later.

The detective then told Mattioli he knew the money never went to Chile – it all went to his personal bank account.

Police say Mattioli confessed:

He thought he could get the parts for a low price, but the parts were more expensive than he could afford. He used Luk's money for his business and tried to make more money back so he could afford Luk's parts.

Because of the botched business, Luk had to close his warehouse.

As of Monday – when he landed in the Palm Beach County Jail for grand larceny, tampering with evidence and perjury – Mattioli had paid more than $35,000 back to Luk in unauthorized payments.

Mattioli posted $18,000 bond Tuesday morning and left jail.

Staff Researcher Barbara Hijek contributed to this report

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