Ottawa Contractor Sentenced to Four Months in Jail
On August 15, 2013, contractor Philip Slobodzian of Pembroke, operating in the Ottawa area as PSC New Home Construction Inc., was convicted once again on several charges under Ontario's Consumer Protection Act. He has been sentenced to four months in jail followed by two years' probation and ordered to pay more than $12,500 restitution to consumers. PSC New Home Construction Inc. was fined $41,000.
Between May 2009 and May 2011, five consumers in the Ottawa area entered into agreements with Slobodzian to have their roofs re-shingled. They paid deposits, each of their roofs was stripped of their existing shingles - but no further work was done. The consumers had to find other contractors to complete the projects and their deposits were never refunded.
Justice of the Peace John Balkwill of the Ottawa Provincial Offences Court convicted Slobodzian on charges of:
- 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; and
- failing to provide a consumer with a proper contract containing the information required by the Consumer Protection Act.
This is 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. His company, 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 advises consumers to be aware that Slobodzian has recently carried on business as Country Comfort. Slobodzian is also facing charges under this new organization.
Consumers are reminded to check the ministry's Consumer Beware List at www.ontario.ca/consumerbeware before doing business with any company.
- Ontario’s Consumer Protection Act, 2002 provides for fines of up to $250,000 for corporations and $50,000 for individuals convicted of offences. It also provides for jail terms of up to two years less a day for each offence.
- The act also empowers the court to order offenders to pay compensation or make restitution to victims.