Concrete Cons Part 7: Eli Rego Threatens Over 50 Victims Seeking Justice For $340K In Fraud
Part 3, Part 4, Part 5, and Part 6.
When Eli Rego first became informed we were looking into him as part of our Concrete Cons investigation he immediately attempted to smear Turtleboy in order to protect whatever would be left of his reputation.
This sort of deflection is what scammers always do when they’re caught. The fact of the matter is that I’m not a pedophile, but Eli Rego is a scammer, and unlike him I have receipts.
To counter the plethora of negative reviews Eli often makes up fake positive reviews that he sends to customers.
Almost a year ago a small group chat was started by a couple people who had been scammed by Nelson and Eli Rego. It began with a Leicester resident who shared his story in 2018 about his dealings with the brothers, which cost his family more than $13K.
This is the pattern we will see with almost every one of Eli Rego’s victims:
- advertises his services
- people message him
- he sends over a contract
- shows up to begin the project
- digs up some yard and promises to come back in a day or two to continue the job
- makes up lies about his Dad being sick, his truck breaking down, weather being bad, not having access to rental equipment, crew being unavailable, or a plethora of other excuses
- customer usually asks for a refund, Eli agrees, and then dodges them for months before things go sour
The Facebook post above generated a lot of attention when people searched for Eli’s name, and soon more victims started coming forward.
Eli has many judgments against him that were detailed in Part 6, but he just never pays.
He’s never held accountable by the police because it’s a civil matter if he shows up one day and doesn’t complete the job, which is why he shows up on the first day. Several of the victims have contacted Attorney General Maura Healey’s Office, but they’ve elected not to help their own citizens. Too busy suing Donald Trump, or something.
The victim’s group continued to grow though, and eventually they reached out to Turtleboy last year. They would carefully watch whenever the brothers posted an advertisement for their companies (they frequently change names whenever one gets dissolved) on a community Facebook group to see if they could find anyone else who had been scammed.
Every time they saw another victim they’d add them to the Facebook group chat, which now has over 50 members. According to the most recent projections the Rego brothers and their associates Wayne McLaughlin and Joe Occipinti have scammed these customers out of at least $340K.
And that’s just people they found on Facebook. There are countless other stories found on Yelp and BBB detailing other anonymous victims.
In spite of these blogs being written Eli continues to post and advertise his services, but he knows the walls are caving in so he was looking to move to Florida to scam some new victims. A couple months ago he was advertising his new scam business – Perfect Seven Concrete – in Orlando yard sale groups.
I’ve kept the victims names out of it, but their stories are all similar, and it’s remarkable that people like Eli Rego can get away with what they’re doing for so long without any serious consequences. Here’s what a victim from Uxbridge told us:
I contracted with Eli Rego’s new company, Atlantis Concrete Construction (which, by the way is the name of a legit concrete company on the south shore). Same story pretty much, as everyone else. I contacted them, Eli came out the same day to give estimate (red flag) driven by his wife! I contracted for a stamped patio in March. Had to put down $500 to hold a May time slot, which we did through Venmo at Eli’s request. They contacted me saying they could start earlier. Great! On the Saturday after the April snowstorm, two guys showed up in a rented Home Depot truck (red flag). I asked if they were from Atlantis, and when they rolled down the window it was like a stoner convention. Pot wafted out (big red flag). Eli showed up a while layer and the three stooges dug up some grass, then compressed a big pile of mud with the tamper machine. I told Eli “you can’t pour over mud.” He reassured me they would take the mud out (so why did you compact it?). He required another $3500 that day to pay for concrete. Reluctantly we gave $3000 (I told him the other $500 deposit made up half the $7000 job and refused to pay more). They never came back, every day was a new excuse. I told him to cancel me and reimburse the $3000, figuring he could argue they did some work. “Keep the deposit, just return my $3k.” We reported the fraud to Venmo and our bank. Filed a police report, which helped us get our fraud money refunded through the bank, not Eli. Still fighting to make him pay.
The AGO should be investigating him for his scam in multiple counties across the state and even in RI. He gives fast and reasonable estimates, comes out with a tiny crew to tear up the grass a bit, collects money to pay for the cement that is “coming on Monday” and never comes back. He has dozens of victims. Most police say it is a civil matter but he keeps creating new companies and scamming people. For me it was $3500. Others have spent far more. It is actually worse if he does come back because he does not do the prep correctly so people are left with a cracked and crumbling patio. Eli comes from a family of grifters who move around a lot and keep creating new businesses. His girlfriend uses his mother’s phone to give fake references. The whole family is involved.
Eli gave this victim a reference that turned out to be his mother Lucrenia Rego, but claimed to be a woman named Jen.
This customer found Eli on Facebook after he was blacklisted by Home Advisor.
Eli ripped up the man’s yard, left a muddy mess, then said he would be back to pour cement. The customer had to explain to the alleged concrete expert that it wasn’t prepped properly and they had to remove the lawn and cut the actual design before they poured. He never came back.
Another victim in Rehoboth found him through Home Advisor.
In April I was paired with Atlantis Concrete Construction in Somerset, MA through Home Advisor. Home Advisor claims they screen and approve to help find trusted local pros for any home project. Atlantis Concrete Construction was screened and approved and highly rated on Home Advisor.
After being matched with Home Advisor saw the same contractor advertising on Facebook. I clicked his advertisement and sent him a message. He was very prompt to reply. I inquired on receiving an estimate for a concrete patio, he gave us a general price per sq. foot and stated he had a spring special he could do 1000 sq. ft for $7500. He came out to do an estimate, he sounded very knowledgeable and very convincing. My husband and I contacted him back stating we wanted to proceed. He came back to our house we signed a contract and I gave him a $500 deposit. My husband and I decided to inquire on cost of a walking path to a fire pit and inquired on the cost, he stated an additional $1800 and we agreed bringing the cost to $9300. He stated he had availability to start May 17th.
On May 15th he arrived at my house with his 4 year old son and an electric rototiller in a Toyota SUV which I found odd. He came to prep the area and tore up a partial area with the electric rototiller stating that it would be easier for the dingo to lift the layer of soil. While he was doing that I watched his son while he was working. He told me he needed the the first half to fund the project I gave him a check for $4400 now a total of $4900 and everything went downhill from there to an absolute nightmare.
On May 17h he did not show up to the house. He text me later that day stating that the truck with the gravel broke down and it would be delivered the next day. On Tuesday the gravel was delivered and placed in our backyard. On Tuesday 5/18 he did not show, nor did he show on Wednesday on 5/19. Late that afternoon, I sent him a text message and he didn’t reply. The next day I tried to call him and he didn’t answer. I think this is when my instincts were telling me something was off. I decided to call him from my work number and he answered. He told me he would be there on Monday 5/24 that they were behind. Okay that sounded reasonable. On Monday 5/24 he did not show up. I sent him a text message and called him he did not answer. My husband called him from our home phone and he answered stating he would be there Wednesday 5/26 again he did not show.
Frustrated the following day I drove by the business address listed of 950 County Street, Somerset, Ma 02726, the location was an empty business. This is where we were starting to become concerned.
We contacted Home Advisor to address our concerns. Once home advisor contacted him he called us stating that he took a few days off due to a death in the family and he would be there the following week. Well he again never came. I filed a complaint with Home Advisor and have an open case. To date he has not shown up. He continued to give us excuse after excuse he had guys call in sick, he was not able to get the equipment, the weather is bad, on and on. We filed a police report Thursday June 10th will our local police department. On Friday I received a call from the police officer stating the contacted Eli and he would do the job the week of the 14th and told us if he didn’t show to inform him. That evening and into the weekend Eli kept contacting us after we requested a refund begging and pleading with us to let him do the job. Of course he did not show last week. I followed up with Home Advisor and the police department on Friday 6/18. The police informed us that they couldn’t do anything as this was a civil matter.
Eli spoke to this woman and her husband like gypsy grifters always do – by calling him “brother,” promising the world, and then acting like he really wants to be friends when they go their separate ways. He only agreed to refund them their money (which he never ended up doing) if they removed their negative Facebook reviews for his company. This is extortion.
I started to look into Eli Rego and came across many complaints in buildzoom.com and yelp. Several reports of Eli and his brother Nelson taking money and not finishing the job or doing extremely poor work. I did a search on Facebook and found a warning of their scamming on a Maynard, MA yard sale page. Things started to unravel from there. I also found a post from (Leicester victim) that had experienced the same exact problem. I then starting searching BBB, he had a business name under E&B Concrete Construction with bad reviews on the BBB website. I also searched under Atlantis Concrete Construction and I filed a complaint with BBB and the attorney general’s office.
I shared the post with the scamming warning and have been messaged by several other people that have been scammed by him in several towns, Uxbridge, Charleston, Maynard, Somerset, Fall River. I dug even further and found several civil and small court claims in Marlborough district court and one in Fall River district court
Eli Rego has contacted me demanding I remove the shared scam warning and take down the negative Home Advisor review
This is the condition my yard has been left in. Dug up two areas with an electric rototiller on 5/15, then Tuesday 5/18 gravel was delivered after receiving message on 5/17 that truck delivering gravel broke down. On 5/29 after reporting him to Home Advisor and texting him every day asking when he was coming, he sent 3 guys to dig more and place the wood boards
The last message Eli sent was him threatening to get his “lawyer” involved.
This victim ended up taking Eli to court, where he represented himself, lied about having an attorney vouch for him, and threatened to countersue.
He doesn’t have an attorney. He came to the probable course hearing without one. The best one is he himself reply to our attorneys demand letter. Of course in the demand letter he said he would not pay us back. He claims we harassed his family which of course I never did. Counter suing us for $75,000 and claiming that if we did not pay him the money he threatened to put a lien on the house. The best part in all of this is he mentioned an attorney. Unbeknownst to Eli my attorney knows the attorney that he claims in the letter is representing him. My attorney reached out to this lawyer that Eli claimed is representing him and he in fact confirmed that he is not representing Eli in any matters against us.
Eli frequently threatens to go to the police and file harassment charges against customers who demand money from him.
But he never does because he often has warrants out for his arrest.
Another victim in Medway got scammed for a $1,000 deposit in 2018. Eli tore up her yard, never showed up to finish the job, promised a refund, and ended up writing her a $1,000 check that bounced. Like gypsies always do, he invoked sick family members and other excuses, and the police were unable to help the victim because it was a civil matter.
Nelson and Eli used to work together years ago before Nelson began pursuing his pop star singing career (see parts 4 and 5).
Here’s one of the only videos we could find of them working together.
A customer from Bridgewater in 2017 had a nightmare dealing with both of them that ended up ruining her pool.
We hired Nelson and Eli to replace our pool coping – the pool was only 4 years old there was a crack in the coping they advised us we needed to replace it. We gave them a cash deposit, they took our small boat from our yard and put it in the pool, ruined that with cement because the guys didn’t want to get into the water. It took them months to complete Nelson verbally threatened both myself and my husband. I even put a stop pay on one of the checks to try to make them come finish the job. They did not use any steel rebar so the coping started to sink and break – they scratched the entire inside of the pool there are marks everywhere. They broke the tile, did not replace. They left rusty tools in the bottom of the pool that caused staining. They also “resealed” our deck – they used the wrong product and ruined the existing stamped concrete, the finish peeled off they also cracked the existing deck. We had to have the entire thing torn out last summer for $50,000.
A Swansea couple paid $8,900 and ended up with a pool looking like this:
He started in March of 2021 and came with a crew of few times, by himself a few times and with the girlfriend a few times— sometimes for a few minutes and sometimes a couple of hours but never got anything done. He has promised us the money back on multiple occasions but no follow through.
Eli also has a tendency of leaving rented equipment at the homes of customers. Another victim from Rochester attempted to hold onto a dingo from Home Depot that Eli left behind in exchange for the $4,500 he owed for not doing contracted work.
the prep was complete trash. He promised to correct it but at that point my trust was lost in his work. Following Thai thread it seems he scratches the surface with a machine. Gets it level and pitched. But sprinkles crushed stone on the earth that he just moved around compacts it once if at all then pours a skimpy thin pad.. there was rooted grass in some areas of my prepped area. A stump which they knew was there because they sliced a piece off with the dingo rental. Low and behold it was 3 ft stump when another contractor did the job. Needed to grind it over a foot down.
I moved the dingo with its trailer off my property as leverage for my money. Eli promised to return and agreed amount of $2000 to me with a stopped contract. The dingo, trailer and truck was a rental from Home Depot. He left the dingo in the trailer on my property and told him that he had no right to come on my property until you had my money, then he could collect his equipment. Moving forward I didn’t hear from him for over a week, I then moved the equipment because I knew that he would be back to take it without giving me my money. We sent it somewhere back far away off the property. Two weeks later a cruiser from his area in two cruisers from mine came rolling up to the property that the dingo was at. The police said that Eli was a douche and Home Depot was trying to contact Eli for over a month. Mind you the dingo started with a screwdriver. He must have had it a while. The police also said that they haven’t found the truck yet, it was also noted as stolen. I was upfront with him and told him the story. Home Depot I believe pursued Eli (not me). The next day I had my town’s police officer write a report about money theft, I forget the term. They said they’d be in touch but never did. Needless to say I never got my money. But I did rack on 3 weeks of charges from just not being a push over and returning his POS stolen equipment.
A Plainville resident read our blog series in August, shortly after hiring Eli and paying him a deposit, so she contacted us.
Hi, I just saw your article in Eli Rego, about how he takes deposits for concrete work, does a bit of work then doesn’t come back. I am in middle right now with him in this exact situation. I only found part 1 of your story, wondering if you had anymore info? Where I am now is he dug it up & is supposed to be back tomorrow with gravel. I just talked to him about 30 min ago & he claims all these cases are against his brother. We gave a check & now I’m scared he will not show ever again. Has he ever done any jobs?
I have him & his crew arriving at my house today to do rebar & gravel & forms (so he promised many times last night on many phone calls). I did find the rest of your articles, Eli says he has court case against his brother and he is not connected to him. Do you know anyone that worked with Eli? I found the one guy from your article that messaged me back, he said only worked Nelson. I gave him deposit already, so I’m screwed. Just trying to get him to do any work then fire him before concrete is poured (they did already take out existing patio pavers) … so if you have any cases against Eli or know anyone that worked with Eli- I could use it!
Despite being made aware that this woman was suspicious that he wouldn’t finish the job Eli ended up doing exactly what she feared he would.
That $2,625 was our 50% deposit, and he did one day work. Then i discovered all this info, he promised he would finish, denied all these accusations , but yet kept canceling. We kept asking for money back, would not give it, then we just told him don’t come back anymore.
Despite the fact that he owes all this money to people Eli still manages to show up to jobs (which is rarely) in his BMW.
Eli Rego belongs in federal prison. He and the rest of the concrete cons prey on innocent, well intentioned people who give them the benefit of the doubt. These are not rich people they are going after. The victims are almost all middle class people who have saved up for years to afford to pay for these projects. Eli might think he’s getting away with this, because he has so far. But just ask Monica Cannon-Grant and Kylie Kirkpatrick how the story ends when you underestimate the turtle. Tick tock.