A TRADIE with a history of ripping off customers since 2013 has been fined almost $15,000 after deceiving more clients in Perth.
Mark Edward Straw, a home renovations tradie from Warnbro and trading as C.C. Renoes, was convicted of failing to begin or complete work after accepting payment.
He was also convicted of making false or misleading representations.
Mr Straw was fined $11,000 by the Perth Magistrates’ Court on February 7, and was ordered to pay $2500 for a client’s compensation and $1085.50 for legal costs, totalling $14,585.
Mr Straw received $2500 in deposits for a $4500 project to install internal walls and partitioning to a carport in Thornlie in February 2018.
He broke the slab in preparation, did no further work and did not refund the client.
Mr Straw also failed to complete majority of carpentry work valued at $5100 in Kallaroo and did not refund the client in December 2017.
Additionally, Mr Straw stopped working on bathroom renovation and ceiling repairs although a Kelmscott consumer already paid $9000 in November 2017.
The job was never completed and no refund was given.
Consumer Protection WA has warned the public about Mr Straw’s dodgy dealings in 2013 and 2015.
Mr Straw was fined $242,7000 for failing to complete contracts in 2016.
Commissioner for Consumer Protection Lanie Chopping said Mr Straw had a shocking history of ripping off his clients.
“Since 2013, Mr Straw has been the subject of numerous public warnings and prosecutions but he continues to thumb his nose at the law and the authorities that enforce it,” she said.
“He extracts as much money as he can from consumers in the form of deposits or full payments, then does very little of the agreed work.
“In some cases, the little work he does carry out creates huge inconvenience for his clients with bathrooms left gutted and unusable and carport slabs broken.”
A court order was issued for Mr Straw to return $2500 to the Thornlie client.
Mr Straw was found to use another person’s ABN without their knowledge after his previous registered business name Complete Ceiling and Renovations Pty Ltd was cancelled.
Magistrate Thomas Hall considered the offences to be serious, noting the deposits involved “people’s hard-earned money” which were paid in good faith.
Ms Chopping advises WA consumers to never deal with Mr Straw or any businesses he promotes and not to pay large deposits or full amounts to any tradie.
“For larger jobs, make progress payments as different stages of the work are completed and materials are supplied,” she said.
“Also bear in mind that the Home Building Contracts Act limits deposits to 6.5 per cent of the total contract price where the value is more than $7,500.”
Consumers who experience problems with tradespeople can email Consumer Protection WA on email@example.com or call 1300 30 40 54.