Canadian Contractor

John Bleasby   

Charges, fines & jail time

Canadian Contractor

Ontario threw the sentencing book at a Toronto contractor while Saskatchewan charged a repeat offender in Regina as the country-wide crackdown on fraudulent contractors continues.

Martin Horowitz, operating as Thomson Horowitz Design Build, has been sentenced by an Ontario court to 360 days in jail followed by a two year probation term, and ordered to pay $207,000 in restitution to three consumers. Horowitz will in addition not be able to accept cash from consumers, perform services, or provide materials except as an employee of another contractor as part of the probation order.

According to the Ontario’s Consumer Protection Office, “Horowitz entered into contracts with three consumers for substantial home renovations. He failed to do the work and, in some instances, failed to pay sub-trades and suppliers. Horowitz consistently asked for, and received, payments from consumers without completing the work or supplying materials. His renovation work also created safety issues for consumers.”

Horowitz is appealing his conviction and sentence.

‘Gross Mis-Behavior’ (Again) in Regina
Meanwhile in Regina, Rod Gross, previously convicted for past renovation scams, has again been charged and will appear in court on August 19th on two counts of fraud under $5,000, forgery and using forged documents.

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CBC reports that Gross allegedly took money from Kris Davis, a Regina homeowner, for a window installation job he didn’t complete. Gross led Mr. Davis to believe that he was a legitimate contractor based on the quotes he gave, the pamphlets he carried and the contract he drew up. “He had manufacturers’ booklets. He came in with work clothes on. He was just the real deal and we bought into it,” Mr. Davis told CBC in June.

Forced to use Facebook to track Gross down
Mr. Davis had first reported Gross to police in May when he failed to show for the scheduled install date. He had paid Gross almost half of the $3,350 quotation up front and in cash, and more after receiving an invoice that appeared to be from an Alberta distributor. However, police advised Mr. Davis it was a small claims court matter. When he could no longer reach Gross by phone, Mr. Davis turned to Facebook where he posted the details of their dealings and a picture of Gross. More than 1,300 people shared Mr. Davis’ post online; others added stories about what they allege were similar transactions with Gross.

Police now admit their initial dismissal of Mr. Davis’ claims was a mistake. “As far as I know, it was just simply a miscommunication and a misinterpretation of the information provided and so now thankfully the matter has been dealt with as a criminal investigation,” said Elizabeth Popowich, spokesperson for the Regina Police Service.

Gross admitted to the CBC that he took money from Mr. Davis for work he didn’t complete, but explained that he’d been in the hospital for months. “I just about died and I had to get brought back three times.” He said he would pay people back, or finish the work when healthy.

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2 Comments » for Charges, fines & jail time
  1. No Thanks says:

    360 days in jail. Wow. Thats more time than many gang members who commit violent crime get.

  2. Moji says:

    We had a Chinese contractor ( MIN LIU) in Port Moody.BC who took $10000 cash from us and runaway.He had an
    expired driver license and also his name and his address was fake .My husband tried to serve him the court paper in RONA ,but he attacked my husband. Unfortunately Police does not care

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