A Pembroke contractor with a history of convictions has been sentenced to four months in jail for ripping off customers in the Ottawa area, and the ministry of consumer services is sounding the alarm about another business under his name.
Philip Slobodzian's most recent conviction came in August. He was also sentenced to two years of probation and was ordered to pay $12,500 in restitution to five Ottawa-area customers.
His business, PSC New Home Construction Inc., was fined $41,000.
The five cases date from May 2009 to May 2011, according to a news release from the Ontario Ministry of Consumer Services. All five customers had wanted their roofs re-shingled and had entered into agreements with Slobodzian.
"They paid deposits, each of their roofs was stripped of their existing shingles, but no further work was done," the release said. "The consumers had to find other contractors to complete the projects and their deposits were never refunded."
The charges include:
- Engaging in an unfair practice by making a false, misleading or deceptive representation.
- Failing to refund payment within fifteen days of being given notice of cancellation of the consumer agreement.
- Failing to provide a consumer with a proper contract containing the information required by the Consumer Protection Act.
Ministry warning about Country Comfort business
It's the third time Slobodzian has been convicted under the Consumer Protection Act. In 2011, he was convicted of similar offences and sentenced to 71 days in jail to be followed by two years' probation, and PSC New Home Construction Inc. was fined $90,000.
Upon release from jail, Slobodzian failed to comply with his term of probation and is currently facing additional charges, the ministry said.
"The ministry advises consumers to be aware that Slobodzian has recently carried on business as Country Comfort," the news release said. "Slobodzian is also facing charges under this new organization."
Slobodzian was the subject of a series of reports by CBC Ottawa in 2010 and 2011 after customers complained he took their money and then either failed to show up to carry out the work, or did a poor job.