Homeowners being warned about contractor wanted on warrant
Published Friday, October 18, 2013 12:47PM MDT
Homeowners in Alberta are being warned about a renovator who is continuing to operate despite facing a long list of charges and a warrant for his arrest.
Chris Wright is wanted on an outstanding warrant for Fair Trading Act charges in Edmonton from an incident in September 2012.
Earlier this month, Service Alberta laid more charges against him in Medicine Hat.
They say that Wright has used a series of company names, but he typically targets elderly homeowners with promises to build a sunroom by a specific date.
According to clients, the work never ends up being completed.
“Alberta has strict rules for contractors who take money upfront, but there are still some who choose to operate outside the law. This government has put a plan in place to protect Alberta homeowners, with new administrative penalties, higher court fines and undercover sting operations that deter and penalize unlicensed prepaid contractors,” says Manmeet S. Bhullar, Minister of Service Alberta.
The names Wright has used include:
- First Choice Sunrooms Ltd.
- Lamont Sunrooms and Exteriors
- Canadian National Sunrooms and Solariums
- 1693020 Alberta Ltd.
Service Alberta first charged Wright under the Fair Trading Act in September 2012 after an 85-year-old woman paid $26,680 for renovation work.
The consumer cancelled the job, but only received $8,000 back.
Investigators were unable to find Wright and subsequently obtained a warrant for his arrest.
Between October 2012 and May 2013, three Medicine Hat homeowners paid Wright $46,500 in advance for home renovation work.
He has been charged under the Criminal Code with three counts of fraud over $5,000 and three counts of theft over $5,000.
He also faces charges under the Fair Trading Act from Edmonton and Medicine Hat:
- four counts of operating without a prepaid contractor’s licence;
- four counts of failing to provide a refund after a consumer cancels a contract;
- four counts of using a contract that does not meet legislated requirements;
- three counts of misrepresenting his ability to supply goods or services; and
- one count of misleading or deceiving a consumer.
He was previously convicted in Calgary of five counts under the Fair Trading Act.
Wright served a suspended sentence and 18 months probation under the condition that he not enter into any service contracts in Alberta.
Anyone with knowledge about the whereabouts of Wright is asked to contact the Medicine Hat Police Service at 403-529-8481.
Consumers who paid Wright before their project was completed are asked to contact Bill Ramage, senior investigator, Service Alberta, in Medicine Hat at 403-529-3123.