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Gold Coast tradesman ordered to pay $253,500 for unfinished jobs

14 January 2019

A Gold Coast tradesman has been convicted and ordered to pay more than $253,500 in fines and compensation in the Gold Coast Magistrates Court today (14 January 2019) after charges were laid by the Office of Fair Trading (OFT) for breaches of the Australian Consumer Law (ACL).

Ali Faraj, who used the aliases Ali Mousselmani, Kamil Kassem and Kamil Mousselmani was found guilty of one count of making false representations about holding a Queensland Building and Construction Commission (QBCC) builders licence. Mr Faraj was also found guilty of three counts of accepting payment and failing to supply goods and services within a reasonable time.

Mr Faraj was fined $60,000 and ordered to pay $193,500 in compensation to three affected consumers.

The court heard that between 14 October 2017 and 23 February 2018 Mr Faraj used a fake QBCC builders licence number in trade advertisements for his services.

The court also heard between 30 October 2017 and 16 May 2018, Mr Faraj accepted payment totalling $204,000 for three jobs. An estimated $193,500 of this was not completed. It was also noted that some of the tradespeople Mr Faraj had subcontracted to do the renovation work removed materials they had installed because they had not received payment from Mr Faraj.

Fair Trading Acting Executive Director Craig Turner said traders must not accept payment for products and services they do not intend to supply.

“If you see a licence number in an advertisement, conduct a QBCC licence search to ensure you’re dealing with someone legitimate,” Mr Turner said.

“Be vigilant, know your consumer rights and do your research before handing over large sums of money.

“Remember to source multiple quotes and only use reputable traders that don’t insist on large up-front payments.”

On 23 May 2018, the OFT issued a public warning for consumers to avoid using Mr Faraj and his services after receiving complaints.

A list of businesses and traders that the OFT advises to avoid can be found on the OFT website at www.qld.gov.au/fairtrading.

Consumers who have purchased goods or services from a business but have not received them should first approach the trader for a resolution. If unsuccessful, consumers can lodge a complaint at www.qld.gov.au/fairtrading.