Charges against contractor have Okotoks connection
Court: Province alleges Calgarian accepted money without completing work
By: Don Patterson
| Posted: Wednesday, Oct 23, 2013 06:00 am
A Calgary contractor has been charged with fraud and numerous offenses under provincial consumer protection legislation after five Calgary area couples, including one from Okotoks, were left with unfinished home renovations.
It’s alleged Kieron Warren, from Calgary, took $160,000 from the couples between October 2011 and June 2012 for home renovations that weren’t completed and deposits were not returned when the couples tried to cancel the contracts.
Four criminal charges have been laid in this matter as well as more than two-dozen additional charges under provincial consumer protection legislation
Okotokian Janine Boldon is relieved the case is going to court.
“We were just waiting for this day to come,” she said.
She and her husband paid Warren $70,266 to renovate a Cimarron home they purchased. When it was time to move in little of the work was completed and Boldon, her husband and their eight-year-old daughter were forced to live with friends.
When several more months passed and the work still wasn’t done, the Boldons finally fired Warren.
They had to hire another company to finish the work and much of Warren’s work had to be ripped out and redone.
Boldon and the four Calgary couples plan on attending Warren’s court date in Okotoks.
“There’s five of us that have done the legwork, there’s five of us that have put in the paperwork and are hoping to get some justice in this,” she said.
Boldon and her family don’t intent to pursue any civil legal cases against Warren.
“It set us back years, so we’re not prepared to go to court and put out any more money,” she said.
Warren faces charges under the criminal code and provincial consumer legislation, including two counts of fraud under $5,000 and two counts of theft under $5,000.
Warren is also accused of operating as a pre-paid contractor without a provincial license as required, misleading people about when work would be completed, failed to provide refunds and used contracts that didn’t meet standards required under provincial legislation.
A number of additional charges have been levied under the Fair Trading Act against Warren, a numbered corporation (1587915 Alberta Ltd) operating under the name Kreate and Greta Warren, who are listed as directors in the company. The list of charges includes five counts of operating without a prepaid contractor license, five counts of failing to provide a contract that complies with provincial legislation, five counts of failing to provide a refund within 15 days of the consumer cancelling the contract, five counts of misleading a consumer, five counts of misrepresenting when goods or services would be provided and one count of not providing a copy of a signed contract to a consumer.
Warren is scheduled to appear in Okotoks Provincial Court on Nov. 18 and Calgary Provincial Court on Nov. 21.
Penalties under the Fair Trading Act include up to two years in jail, a maximum fine of $300,000 or three times the amount obtained in the offence, whichever is greater.
Contractors who take payment before work is completed and anyone who discusses or finalizes a contract away from a regular place of business require a license from Service Alberta.
They must also use contracts that include an itemized price list and a finish date.
People can cancel a pre-paid contract within 10 days or up to one year if the contractor does not have a license and refunds must be provided within 15 days.
“If the contractor is not licensed or is not using a proper contract as required by legislation, you have a one-year cancellation period,” said Service Alberta spokesperson Mike Berezowsky.
For more information on provincial consumer protection laws regarding contractors, visit www.servicealberta.ca.