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Toronto Contracting Company and Owner Each Convicted for 11 Counts of Engaging in an Unfair Practice

Court Bulletin

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.

Location:  Toronto.

Description of Offences:  11 counts against GarConUnfair 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.

Penalties Imposed:

  • 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.

Background:

  • 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

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