MORGAN COUNTY — A Greenwood driveway paving contractor convicted of home improvement fraud will serve at least several months behind bars.
As part of a plea agreement with Morgan County prosecutors, Santino Gilk pleaded guilty on Feb. 13 to corrupt business influence and home improvement fraud.
A judge sentenced him to 4 years in the county jail or the Department of Correction, however, the bulk of the sentence was suspended and Gilk also received credit for 81 days of jail time already served.
That means Gilk will likely serve about 3 months behind bars, according to the prosecutor.
Gilk also received a year of probation.
If Gilk does not follow the terms of his probation, it is possible the judge could make him serve the full four years behind bars.
Gilk’s business partner Natalie Davis pleaded guilty last year to home improvement fraud and corrupt business influence, both felonies, in connection with a driveway paving operation.
Natalie Davis and Gilk operated a business called “Awesome Asphalt,” records show, and are accused of taking money from consumers and not finishing the job.
Davis has remained behind bars since her sentencing in October, and is expected to be released from state prison later this month.
Davis had no comment to RTV6, but her attorney told the judge Davis plans to repay the $7,500 she owes Megan and Mike Swiergiel of Monrovia.
“We’d like to see justice, some resolution and compensation for the money we are out for them destroying our driveway,” Mike Swiergiel said last year. “They should go to jail. They took money from us.”
The Swiergiels hired Awesome Asphalt in 2017.
“It’s pretty much a nightmare,” Megan Swiergiel said. “We have had nothing done to our driveway besides what we’ve done to make it usable and get access to our property.”
Gilk gave a puzzling response to Call 6 Investigates in September 2019.
“There’s a no contact order on you, mam,” Gilk said to Call 6 Investigates. “You’re committing a felony right now. Don’t you respect the law at all?”
Call 6 Investigates said they had not received any paperwork about a no contact order.
“Would you like to come to my house and have me show you the no contact order and I’ll call the police and they’ll be waiting to arrest you?” Gilk said to Call 6 Investigates.
Shortly after the exchange, Davis signed the plea agreement.
The plea said Davis is not supposed to contact the Swiergiels or Kara Kenney.
There was never a no contact in order in place that prevented Call 6 Investigates from asking Davis and Gilk questions in the courthouse.
Records show a business owner in Speedway filed a lawsuit, alleging the driveway contractor took his money and failed to do the work, damaging his property in the process.
The Speedway business owner received an $8,000 judgment in a Marion County small claims court against the contractor.
TIPS FOR HIRING A CONTRACTOR:
- Get estimates in writing
- Check for criminal charges or civil suits here
- Check for a contractor’s license
- Ask for references and call them
- Ask to see examples of their work
- Ask about insurance: personal liability, worker’s comp, and property damage coverage
- Pay wisely, not all up front