Renfrew contractor guilty of scamming Ottawa senior

A Renfrew contractor will be tossed in jail for 90 days — and has to pay back almost $35,000 — after being convicted Wednesday of scamming an Ottawa senior more than two years ago.

In March 2009, Hubert Belisle, who runs H.B. Expert Pro-Renovations, sold an 85-year-old man in Ottawa on various repairs and improvements to his house.

The victim is a Second World War veteran and widower who has lived in the house since 1960, when he and his wife designed and built it.

Belisle estimated the work would cost $31,000 and took a $15,000 deposit.

Over the next few months, Belisle talked the senior into more repairs and received at least $18,000 in additional fees — without completing the original work.

Belisle pleaded guilty to engaging in an unfair practice under Ontario’s Consumer Protection Act, 2002.

He was also sentenced to two years probation, and was ordered to pay back $34,591.

Belisle has an “F” rating with the Ottawa Better Business Bureau, said president and CEO Diane Iadeluca.

“He’s been on our radar since 2009,” she said, adding one complaint has been filed against him.

“He does shoddy work.”

When it comes to contractors,Iadeluca suggests checking out a company’s standing with the BBB before hiring anyone.

“We have reviews … we work closely with the police and the ministry (of consumer services),” she said.

Belisle is banned from: entering into a contract with a customer unless the agreement complies with the Consumer Protection Act, 2002; accepting money in advance of completing the work; and having direct or indirect communication with the elderly homeowner.

He’s slated to return to court in January 2012 to face more charges from different complainants.

http://www.ottawasun.com/2011/08/05/renfrew-contractor-guilty-of-scamming-ottawa-senior

 

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