The Adelaide Magistrates Court found an unlicensed contractor who violated consumer protection laws and subsequently fined him $ 175,000.
Peter John Wooton, sole director of Simplified Installs t / as Australia Pools and Patios, had signed contracts with seven customers to install swimming pools and related works, according to the Attorney General of South Australia.
The value of the contracts ranged from $ 33,000 to $ 130,000, and in most cases the work delivered was either substandard or incomplete. Some customers also complained of property damage as a result of Wooton’s work. Three customers had made deposits and received nothing in return.
The court was told that Wotton had used a fake builder license number on invoices in many cases and that Wotton had also entered into a contract with a client worth approximately $ 130,000 after being warned by authorities that his actions were illegal and knowing his business was in financial trouble.
In court, Wotton admitted to violating the Australian Consumer Act and the Builders Act. Judge Brett Dixon fined him $ 175,000 and ordered him to pay four clients a total of $ 58,964.40 in compensation. In addition, Wotton was banned from managing companies for the next seven years.
“These were major violations that left a number of consumers out of their pockets,” said Consumer Affairs Commissioner Dini Soulio.
“Wotton was never licensed and continued to work after being warned that his actions were illegal.
“I am pleased that the court recognizes the gravity of these crimes and imposes a substantial fine and compensation,” said Soulio.
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