Ottawa Contractor Sentenced to Two Months in Jail and Ordered to Pay Back $6,000 to Consumers
On March 20, 2014, contractor Philip Slobodzian of Renfrew, operating in the Ottawa area as Country Comfort Living Inc., pled guilty to several charges under Ontario's Consumer Protection Act. He was sentenced to two months in jail followed by two years' probation and ordered to pay $6,000 restitution.
In May 2013, a consumer entered into an agreement with Slobodzian for the installation of vinyl siding on his home. They agreed on a price of more than $12,000 and the consumer gave Slobodzian a $6,000 deposit. Slobodzian never started the work and when the consumer cancelled the agreement, his deposit was returned by Slobodzian's business partner, at his own cost.
Justice of the Peace Brian Mackey of the Nepean 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 15 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.
This is the fourth time Slobodzian has been convicted under the Consumer Protection Act. In 2013, he was convicted of similar offences and sentenced to four months in jail and ordered to pay $12,500 restitution - he has appealed this decision. In 2011, he was 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 the terms of his probation - specifically, paying consumers back -and as a result is currently facing additional charges.
Consumers are reminded to check the ministry's Consumer Beware List 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.