Nova Scotia

Scammed Cole Harbour landlord now faces mountain of credit-card debt

A café owner from Cole Harbour, N.S., is still cleaning up from a nightmare tenancy in his home.

Jason Selby finally got his home back from a rogue renter, only to find someone maxed out 13 cards in his name

Jason Selby has spent long hours trying to sort his financial situation out after someone used his name to pile up debt. (Pat Callaghan/CBC)

A former landlord from Cole Harbour, N.S., is still cleaning up the mess from a nightmare tenancy in his home.

But it turns out the biggest mess Jason Selby is facing is financial, after someone fraudulently maxed out 13 credit cards in his name.

CBC News reported on Selby's struggles to evict tenant Nadav Even-Har from his home earlier this year after the tenant didn't pay months of rent.

Selby thought that was the end of his troubles, until he got a call from credit card company Capital One.

"It's crazy ... that this house was just the tip of the iceberg," Selby said.

Nadav Even-Har, as seen in a photo uploaded to Facebook, declined to answer questions from CBC News. (Facebook)

Capital One told Selby he had a credit card with them and it was maxed out and in arrears.

They told him to call the credit report service Equifax.

The company had some bad news.

"They told me on the phone that there were 26 credit inquiries on my name since June 1, 2019, and 13 credit cards were successfully opened and maxed," Selby said.

Together, Selby said they added up to over $30,000 in debts.

'A pretty clear link'

Selby said the credit card companies told him charges included cash advances, payments to a furniture store and a plane ticket.

"They saw a plane ticket that was purchased [by] Nadav Even-Har," Selby said. "So you know there's a pretty clear link there."

Even-Har agreed to lease Selby's house for $2,000 a month in May 2019, but all of Even-Har's rent cheques bounced.

It's an experience reported by many of Even-Har's landlords dating back to at least 2013.

The case ended up in court, where a Nova Scotia Supreme Court judge ordered in October that Even-Har move his belongings and get out of the residence that same day.

Selby shows some of the debris piled up after he had to renovate the house when his tenant was evicted. (Pat Callaghan/CBC)

"I have no credit because of this," said Selby, who operates a café. "The impact of that is significant, especially as a small-business owner.

"So much of my time and my life is being chewed up by this. It's terrible."

So far, only Canadian Tire has retired his account and written off all charges as fraud.

According to Nova Scotia court records, Even-Har has multiple convictions for forgery and theft.

Two of his former landlords told CBC News Even-Har had either fraudulently used their credit card, or successfully applied for credit cards in their name.

Selby said he's doing his best to withhold judgment.

"I mean, yeah, I believe it's Nadav Even-Har, my former tenants ... that did this. But we'll leave that for the police to confirm," he said.

Ex-tenant 'would love to see that'

In an email, Even-Har wouldn't respond to CBC News inquiries about the credit cards or the charges on them.

Speaking after freshly painting a bedroom in his Clermont Crescent house, Selby said he's still renovating his home to repair the damage done by his former tenants.

Selby estimates he's spent between 40 and 50 hours on the phone with companies trying to clear his name.

The renovations would have been impossible without spontaneous help from Cole Harbour residents who heard on Facebook about his troubles, Selby said.

Selby's Cole Harbour neighbours heard about his problems online and helped fix his house. (Submitted by Tara Canning)

"The community support has just been so incredible. I'm so grateful for everyone who came forward and helped me clean and help me and fix drywall and paint," he said.

"So many people came forward that I didn't even know. It was amazing."

RCMP Cpl. Lisa Croteau said officers are looking into Selby's complaint, but said fraud investigations aren't quick.

"Fraud investigations typically take time [often many months]," Croteau wrote in an email.