City police have charged a man they say defrauded a couple over home renovation work he was expected to perform for them.
A couple seeking to revamp their northwest Calgary home contacted local firm Envision Custom Renovations in December of last year, say police.
“Between January and April 2023, the victims had several disagreements with the hired contractor, which included the victims being invoiced for sub-contractor materials, several scheduling delays and work not being completed within the agreed upon timeframe,” city police said in a press release.
“In April 2023, the victims discovered the invoices provided by the contractor, that they paid for, were fraudulent and contacted the police.”
It’s alleged the contractor altered and forged the billings by presenting them as subcontractor invoices and collected money through his business.
Police have charged Envision owner Alan Wade Hrehirchuk, 53, with two counts of forgery, two counts of uttering forged documents and one count of fraud over $5,000.
His next court appearance is scheduled for Aug. 14.
“As the investigation progresses, additional charges could be laid,” said the police, who are investigating the case with the Service Alberta Consumer Investigations Unit.
After this story was posted online, other people in the Calgary area contacted Postmedia claiming they, too, had been misled and ripped off by Hrehirchuk in the past few years.
One Okotoks woman said she’d be contacting police.
Police are urging those hiring contractors to ensure they’re licensed and insured for liability and to ask for references.
They should also be cautious about making up-front payments and demand a contract with start and completion dates, total costs and details on work and materials.
“Only contractors who have a pre-paid contractor’s license from Service Alberta can ask for a deposit,” said police.
Anyone with similar experiences are urged to call Calgary Police at 403-266-1234 or leave tips anonymously with Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477 or at www.calgarycrimestoppers.org.