Dodgy tradesman masqueraded as legitimate Ballina builder
A SYDNEY builder who masqueraded as a Ballina builder was last month ordered pay more than $75,000 in fines and $14,700 in consumer compensation by the Parramatta Local Court.
In 2009 the offender, known previously as Richard Younan and Rachid Younan, changed his name via deed poll to Paul Logan.
The choice of name wasn't random - the name was identical to licensed North Coast builder Paul Logan, and the offender would go on to use Mr Logan's builders' licence when offering a quote to a prospective clients.
Last month, the Sydney-based man trading as Paul Logan Creations was convicted of various consumer law and Home Building Act offences, "including unlicensed contracting of residential home building work and contracting without proper insurance, as well as accepting payment without supplying goods and services in time", according to Fair Trading NSW.
Fair Trading Commissioner Rod Stowe said Mr Logan had form in this area, previously using various aliases, dates of birth and trading names in his dealings with consumers and under the aliases had an extensive history of non-compliance with consumer protection laws.
"In 2014 Mr Logan responded to listings by consumers for a tradesperson to undertake a range of home building works and, although he had been refused a contractor licence by NSW Fair Trading in November 2011, entered into contracts with a number of consumers in Bondi Junction, North Bondi and Mona Vale."
"He repeatedly took excess deposits from consumers, failed to commence work, failed to refund deposits and provided one consumer with details of a licence number that actually belonged to another trader and had already been cancelled."
One of his victims, a North Bondi man who spoke to Fairfax Media, said he paid the Guildford-based Logan $5900 for a $7200 job and received nothing but endless delays.
"He kept trying to get more time. He kept saying another man had the new doors locked up in a warehouse, he was going overseas. It just went on and on. It just got ridiculous," the homeowner said.
The Ballina-based Paul Logan did not wished to speak about his name and builders' licence being used for a scam, but said that since building licences were accessible in the public domain on NSW Fair Trading's website, anyone could appropriate them for their own ends.
"The system demands that our business is recorded in the public domain for the betterment of the community so you can see if there is minuses against [someone's] name," he said.
"The only way to change that is to take that information away from the public."
He said his reputation wasn't harmed by the offences, and had no control over the matter, and the courts had dealt with the matter appropriately.