Dave Murray, owner of the discredited home renovation firm EcoLife Home Improvements, has been hit with another 22 fraud charges, Greater Sudbury Police said Tuesday, bringing the total number of fraud charges he's facing to 45.
Murray was arrested Oct. 31 and charged with 14 counts of fraud over $5,000 and eight counts of fraud under $5,000, police said. He was released on a promise to appear in court Dec. 11.
“Between September 2018 and September 2019, the Greater Sudbury Police Service received a number of complaints in relation to EcoLife Home Improvements,” a news release from police said. “Multiple community members alleged that after providing monetary deposits for home renovation projects, the contracted work was never completed.
“The numerous allegations were directed to the Greater Sudbury Police Service criminal investigations division fraud unit and an investigation was initiated coinciding with an investigation by the Consumer Protection Bureau.”
Murray was also charged in May of this year with 20 counts of fraud over $5,000 and three counts of fraud under $5,000.
He's back in court Nov. 6 for criminal charges of theft and trafficking of stolen property. And on Nov. 13, he's back in court to answer to the original fraud charges.
In their release, police said homeowners considering renovation projects should ensure they protect themselves by doing research prior to signing a contract or providing a down payment.
“You can do so by entering a business name or an individual’s name into the search engine of your computer,” the release said. “You may also want to check the company's Facebook page (or other social media profiles such as Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, etc.).”
Prior to providing payment for home renovation products or services:
- Know your rights
- Research the company
- Verify applicable licencing
- Ask for identification and references
- Obtain everything in writing
- If you feel uncomfortable, end the interaction
The Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre's slogan is: Recognize. Reject. Report.
If you recognize red flags of a potential scam, or have a gut feeling that something is wrong, reject the offer. Then report it.
For more information on how to protect yourself from frauds and scams, visit: antifraudcentre-centreantifraude.ca.