Snow removal contractor charged with fraud after failing to do work, police say

Ottawa police have charged the owner of Boxer Snow Removal with fraud, laundering and possessing the proceeds of crime after he allegedly secured contracts and failed to carry out the work.

BBB had issued an alert about contractor in December after more than 10 complaints

An Ottawa man has been charged after several people reported prepaying for the season's snow removal but never receiving the service. (CBC)

An Ottawa man faces three charges after he allegedly secured more than 10 snow removal contracts with people across the city and then failed to carry out the work.

Ottawa police say the owner of Boxer Snow Removal got the contracts for this winter primarily by advertising on Kijiji, using an alias, fake phone numbers and emails that expired.

The man has been charged with fraud under $5,000, as well as possessing and laundering the proceeds of crime.

The same man is currently facing similar charges for another company he operated in 2016 called Capital City Lawn and Snow Removal, police said.

In that case, police said the man signed customers up for lawn maintenance and snow removal contracts and failed to fulfill his side of the agreement.

BBB had issued alert

The Better Business Bureau (BBB) had issued an alert about Boxer Snow Removal in December 2016, noting that the company did not have a snow plowing contractor's licence — as is required by the City of Ottawa.

In its alert, the BBB said the address listed for the company did not exist and that customers had complained that they prepaid for snow removal but never received the service. 

The Ottawa Police Fraud Unit said people should be cautious when dealing with contractors soliciting work door-to-door and online.

They also advised residents to ask for the person's drivers licence, demand references, and check with the BBB before paying any money.