Unlicensed tradie charged after defrauding homeowners of $220,000 in Hills

A man has been charged after allegedly fraudulently obtaining more than $220,000 from homeowners for unfinished and defective work to their homes.

In September 2021, officers attached to The Hills Police Area Command commenced an investigation after receiving a referral from NSW Fair Trading relating to suspected fraudulent activity of an unlicensed tradesman.

Following extensive inquiries, a 55-year-old man was arrested at Castle Hill Police Station about 2.30pm on Wednesday 27 October 2021, before being taken to Parramatta Police Station.

He was charged with the following offences:

  • Do residential building work when unlicensed (x4)
  • Do residential building work without insurance as prescribed (x3)
  • Contract to do residential building work without licence (x5)
  • Seek residential building work when unlicensed to do same (x5)
  • Demand/receive deposit exceeds maximum under section (x3)
  • Demand, receive payment for building without insurance (x3)
  • Accept payment not supply goods/services in time, publish false misleading material to obtain advantage (x4)
  • Dishonestly obtain financial advantage by deception (x9)
  • Publish etc false misleading material to obtain advantage.

Police will allege in court that the man purported to be a tradesman and was paid a total of $222,350 by four homeowners at Carlingford and Stanwell Park for residential building work, which was either defective or not completed between October 2020 and May 2021.

The Moorebank man was granted conditional bail and appeared at Parramatta Local Court yesterday (Wednesday 10 November 2021) and will reappear in the same court on Wednesday 1 December 2021.

Inquiries are continuing.

Homeowners can safeguard against becoming a victim by following a number of simple tips:

  • Never let anyone inside you house or unit if you don’t know them
  • Always ask for identification – a business card is not enough
  • Never keep large amounts of money around the house
  • If you are uncertain about the credibility of tradespeople, obtain their details and contact NSW Fair Trading: https://www.fairtrading.nsw.gov.au/help-centre/online-tools/home-building-licence-check or call 13 32 20
  • Contact your local police or Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000

Anyone with information about fraudulent tradespeople and building-related or other scams is urged to contact Crime Stoppers: 1800 333 000 or https://nsw.crimestoppers.com.au. Information is treated in strict confidence. The public is reminded not to report information via NSW Police social media pages.

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