Fraudster given 30-month jail sentence

Published: 11 Jan 2022

Released by: Fair Trading

NSW man Anthony Robertson has been convicted and sentenced to 30 months’ jail after he masqueraded as a licensed builder to secure residential building contracts worth hundreds of thousands of dollars.

Mr Robertson, who pleaded guilty to 30 charges, was also ordered to pay $168,462 in compensation to his two victims, as well as $20,000 in fines and $10,000 in professional costs. One of his victims was an 86-year-old man and his wife.

Also known as Barry Ible and Tony Robertson, the 50-year-old’s prison sentence included a 
minimum of 20 months in jail.

Mr Robertson was charged with offences under the Home Building Act (1989) and Crimes Act 
(1900), including publishing false and misleading material to obtain a financial advantage, using false documents to obtain a financial advantage, contracting to do residential work without a licence and demanding and receiving payments for building without insurance.

The offences occurred between June 2017 and March 2018.

NSW Fair Trading Executive Director of Investigations and Enforcement Valerie Griswold said Mr Robertson used several false documents to convince two victims he was licensed to conduct building work.

“Mr Robertson went to elaborate lengths to deceive consumers, including an email purporting to be from NSW Fair Trading, a fake letter on NSW Fair Trading letterhead and a false iCare certificate of insurance,” Ms Griswold said.

"In the first case, Mr Robertson entered into a building contract worth $600,706 to build a new 
home without being licensed. The contract used a false Australian Business Number and 
contractor licence number.

"He received a total of $311,847, yet only provided site preparation, clearing and a concrete slab.

"In the second case, Mr Robertson entered into a contract to build a new home valued at 
$488,344, falsely claiming he held a builder's licence.

"He received $25,565 despite not commencing any work or obtaining any approvals for the 
construction of the house.

“Most of the money Mr Robertson received was never used for building work.

"NSW Fair Trading urges consumers to check the credentials of builders and other tradespeople before engaging a contractor for work."

A licence is required for all specialist work such as electrical, plumbing and air conditioning 
regardless of the cost. Further, a licence is required for all other residential work valued at more than $5,000. 

Further, the Home Building Act prohibits seeking more than 10 per cent of the contract price as a deposit prior to starting residential building work. 

To check the licence details of a tradesperson, visit home building licence check or call 13 32 20. Consumers are encouraged to contact NSW Fair Trading with any complaints. 

NSW Fair Trading is committed to protecting the community through its investigation of alleged breaches of the law and via educational campaigns to inform consumers and businesses of their rights and obligations under the law.

Mr Robertson has a right of appeal.

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