Unlicensed tradie charged over defrauding Hills homeowners

Hills Independent

A 55-year-old Moorebank man was granted conditional bail this week and will reappear in Parramatta Local Court on 1 December on fraud charges.

Charges relate to allegedly fraudulently obtaining more than $220,000 from Hills district homeowners for unfinished and defective work to their premises.

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

Following their inquiries, a 55-year-old man was arrested at Castle Hill Police Station on 27 October, 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.

Inquiries are continuing.

Police have the following tips for homeowners to safeguard against becoming a victim:

  • 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.

Picture: Callum Hill, Unsplash.

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