Toronto Contracting Company and Owner Each Convicted for 11 Counts of Engaging in an Unfair Practice
Convicted: GarCon Building Group Limited (GarCon) and Mr. Adam Gardin, Director, Secretary, and Treasurer of GarCon.
Description of Offences: 11 counts against GarCon - Unfair Practice under Ontario's Consumer Protection Act, 2002 (CPA), 11 counts against Adam Gardin - Unfair Practice under the CPA.
Date of Offences: Between October 2013 and September 2014.
Conviction and Sentencing:
- March 2018: Guilty pleas entered by GarCon and Mr. Gardin.
- February 2019: Convictions registered against GarCon and Mr. Gardin.
- July 26, 2019: Sentence handed down at the Ontario Court of Justice in Toronto by His Worship P. Marum.
- GarCon was fined a total of $1.125 million and has one year to pay.
- Mr. Gardin was sentenced to a total 1,342 days in jail (just over three and a half years) and ordered to pay a total of $856,355 in restitution.
- Mr. Gardin was also placed on probation for 24 months with terms that require him to pay $36,000 per month in restitution and prevent him from holding or controlling any businesses.
- Mr. Gardin and GarCon entered into Direct and Future Performance Agreements with several consumers for significant renovations to their homes, and received substantial deposits, progress and work order payments.
- Renovation projects were started, but none were completed.
- The doors to GarCon's office were closed by a bailiff on December 29, 2014 for non-payment of rent.
- Mr. Gardin placed GarCon into bankruptcy on January 6, 2015. At the time of the bankruptcy, all the renovation projects involved in this matter were abandoned.
- This conviction has resulted in one of the largest fines and longest jail terms imposed under the Consumer Protection Act.
- Ontario's Consumer Protection Act, 2002 provides for fines of up to $250,000 for corporations per charge and $50,000 per charge for individuals convicted of offences. It also provides for jail terms of up to two years less a day for each offence for individuals.
- The act empowers the court to order offenders to make restitution to victims.
- Consumer Protection Ontario reminds consumers to:
- Pay no more than a 10-per-cent deposit;
- Visit the Consumer Beware List before entering into a contract with any company; and
- Visit ontario.ca/ConsumerProtection for tips on how to protect their money and ensure they are signing a proper contract.