A Perth-based property developer has been found guilty of accepting payment without providing goods and services, and has received a total fine of over $50,000, consisting of a court-ordered fine and compensation for affected victims.
David John Leitch Emery and DK & IE Projects and D1 One were found to breach Australian Consumer Law in 2015 and 2016 over three cases where Mr Emery was approached to perform various property-related works.
He was fined $25,000 by theMagistrates Court and ordered to pay back compensation totalling $26,207 between three clients, who all paid for services up front.
The first client, a Dunsborough property owner, was granted $11,434.90 in compensation after engaging Mr Emery’s services for subdividing a block to then design and oversee the construction of two homes, with only concept drawings and re-drafted designs being produced.
The second client, a Vasse property owner, was granted $10,000 in compensation after engaging Mr Emery’s services to subdivide two blocks of land in Vasse and Dunsborough, with no plans completed or submitted to the City of Busselton.
The third client, a Busselton property owner, was granted $4,772.80 in compensation after engaging Mr Emery’s services for the ordering and installation of a stone benchtop for her house, which ended up not even being ordered.
A Busselton property owner was granted $4,772.80 in compensation after she had engaged Mr Emery to manage the ordering and installation of a stone benchtop at her home. She paid the full amount upfront but the benchtop was never ordered or installed.
David Hillyard, commissioner for consumer protection, said the fact that the offences were repeated was a very serious matter.
“Mr Emery showed a blatant disregard for his clients’ consumer rights by accepting a total of $38,925 in deposits and only commencing work in one of the three cases,” Mr Hillyard said.
“There is a tremendous amount of trust involved when a consumer pays a large deposit [to] a trader, but there is also a huge risk involved if the trader takes the money but fails to deliver.
“That’s why we recommend only small deposits are paid or, in cases of large projects, only pay when certain stages of the work are completed and when materials are supplied.”
The reporting of this fine follows a previously published case of a . property developer who received at $1.8 million fine and six months of jail time for GST fraud and phoenixing