Dodgy landscaper cops heavy fine

A landscaper who failed to show for his court appearance has been convicted and ordered to pay more than $12,359 after he took more thousands for a job but failed to do the work.

On June 14, Nathan Charles Bogan, the sole proprietor of Nate Scapes, was found guilty in the Pine Rivers Magistrates Court of one count of wrongly accepting payment and failing to supply services.

Mr Bogan, whose business is based at Lawnton, was fined $10,000 and ordered to pay $2359.17 compensation to the affected consumer.

He failed to appear in court.

The court heard Mr Bogan provided a quote of $2359.17 for landscaping services to the Highvale resident.

He accepted the money on September 19, 2017, and promised to commence work at the property within the week.

Mr Bogan did not show up to do the work on the promised date and rescheduled the project to December 2017, and again to January 2018.

During this time, the consumer asked for the materials for the job to be delivered but these were never supplied.

The landscaper never started the work and eventually ceased contact with the consumer, refusing to refund the money.

The Office of Fair Trading (OFT), which brought the charges, said Mr Bogan avoided the OFT and behaved evasively throughout the investigation.

Magistrate Trevor Morgan said Mr Bogan failed several times to show up to do the work, made several excuses to the consumer and never returned the money after she demanded it.

He also noted the defendant avoided all interaction with the OFT and failed to appear in court.

Magistrate Morgan said a significant penalty was appropriate.

OFT acting executive director Craig Turner said he was pleased the court noted in sentencing the fact the landscaper had attempted to avoid the OFT and had behaved evasively throughout the investigation.

"Today's decision is a reminder that unscrupulous traders looking to rip off consumers will not be tolerated in the Queensland marketplace," Mr Turner said.

The OFT encourages any consumer who has been unable to resolve a dispute with this trader to lodge a complaint via the OFT website qld.gov.au/fairtrading.


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