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Bankrupt Builder Fined for Working Unlicensed & Misleading Consumers

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A bankrupt business director has been fined for misleading consumers and carrying out unlicensed building works.

James Arthur Pepper has admitted to breaches of the Building Work Contractor’s Act and Australian Consumer Law.

The Adelaide Magistrates Court has heard the 45-year old declared bankruptcy in 2013 and was precluded from being the director of a building work company, but three years later he established two companies and used other people as 'puppet' directors.

The Commissioner for Consumer Affairs Dini Soulio said that in one instance Pepper contracted for significant building works at a property in Heathfield, even though the company didn’t hold a building work contractor’s licence,

“He also failed to take out building indemnity insurance, telling the homeowners this was not required, and sought a 50% deposit – well in excess of the allowed maximum of five per cent of the contract price," Comissioner Soulio said.

“In addition to this, the work that was performed was of a poor standard, with the consumers ultimately terminating their contract with him."

Pepper was fined a total of $8700, and ordered to pay prosecution costs of $400 while the company 'Innov8 Projects' was fined $1050 and ordered to pay costs of $400.

If you have concerns about the conduct of a building contractor, or want to check that a contractor is licensed to do the work you’re after, contact CBS for advice on 131 882.

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