Fraud charges laid against owners of three Ottawa snow-removal companies
OTTAWA -- Ottawa police say the owners of three snow removal companies in the city are facing fraud charges.
Police said they were contacted by members of the public last winter about the three companies, which each operate independently of each other. Police said their investigation revealed that these companies took money in advance for snow-removal services, but then removed little to no snow from people's properties as agreed.
The three companies identified by Ottawa police are Snow Vaporizers, Faul Properties, and Altitude Snow Removal.
The following people are facing charges:
Michael Labrecque, 29, owner of Snow Vaporizers. Labreceque is facing seven counts of obtaining money by false pretence not exceeding $5000 and seven counts of fraud not exceeding $5000. Police allege Lebrecque obtained approximately $34,500 last winter.
Alexandre Albuquerque-Bussieres, 40, owner of Faul Properties. Albuquerque-Bussieres is facing 11 counts of obtaining money by false pretence not exceeding $5000 and 11 counts of fraud not exceeding $5000. Police allege Albuquerque-Bussieres obtained approximately $3,300 last winter.
Nataliano Petrini-Wooley, 28, owner of Altitude Snow Removal. Petrini-Wooley is facing seven counts of obtaining money by false pretence not exceeding $5000 and seven counts of fraud not exceeding $5000. Police allege Petrini-Wooley obtained approximately $7,000 last winter.
Investigators believe there may be other citizens who contracted these companies and did not receive services. If you are one of them, police are asking you to make a fraud report online.
Police are also warning the public to investigate any snow removal contractors you're considering, and ask questions. See if the company is licensed, well known, or has a good or bad reputation.
At least one of the above companies, Snow Vaporizers, was not licensed, as CTV News reported in January.
"The best price and/or promise may be too good to be true," police said.