Serial offender given 16-month jail sentence
Serial offender Matthew Rixon has been sentenced to 16 months’ jail after leaving consumers thousands of dollars out of pocket and with incomplete fencing work
Mr Rixon was convicted on seven charges under the Crimes Act for dishonestly obtaining financial advantage by deception.
He also pleaded guilty to making false and misleading statements in documents lodged with the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) and pleaded guilty to charges brought by NSW Police.
Mr Rixon was found to have committed fraud by contracting with and failing to supply residential fencing to nine consumers.
His jail sentence was applied from June 2021, meaning he is eligible for release in September
2022, subject to a Commonwealth recognisance and payment of a $500 bond. Mr Rixon was also fined $12,308.
NSW Fair Trading Director of Investigations, Intervention and Review David Byrne said Mr Rixon's actions caused significant distress to many consumers.
"One consumer paid $1,305 to Mr Rixon as a deposit for fencing work that was never done and no money was ever refunded,” Mr Byrne said.
“In another case, a consumer accepted a quote of $4,992 for the demolition and removal of some fencing and transferred over $1,996.80 to Mr Rixon.
“However, only a small amount of work was completed and the consumer had to engage a
tradesperson to complete the work.
Magistrate Kate Thompson said in her judgement handed down at Parramatta Local Court on
December 3 Mr Rixon had shown no remorse for his victims and had low prospects for
Mr Rixon, who is also known by aliases Matt Andrews, Matthew Douglas, Matt Ewing, Joseph
Geraghty, Scott Mandeville and Matt Rickson, has the right to appeal.
This is the fourth time NSW Fair Trading has prosecuted Mr Rixon.
In 2013, Mr Rixon was convicted and ordered to pay fines totalling $72,000. In the same year, the NSW Supreme Court issued permanent injunctive orders restraining Mr Rixon from conducting or engaging in residential building work.
In 2014, he was convicted of breaching those orders and sentenced to 18 months’ jail which was wholly suspended and 300 hours community service.
Mr Rixon was again convicted for breaching those orders in 2018 and was sentenced to 18
NSW Fair Trading had issued multiple public warnings against Mr Rixon, as had the Office of Fair Trading in Queensland.
Earlier this year, Mr Rixon travelled from Queensland to Victoria, where there was an existing
warrant for his arrest. Victoria Police arrested him in April 2021.
In September 2021, Mr Rixon pleaded guilty to six offences in the Melbourne Magistrates Court, including obtaining property and financial advantage by deception, handling stolen goods and making a false document to prejudice others. He was sentenced to 140 days’ jail, which he had already served while on remand.
Magistrate Hayley Bate said she considered Mr Rixon a professional conman.
In another recent matter unrelated to Mr Rixon, Scott Sharman was convicted, fined $40,000 and ordered to pay costs of $850 for offences that occurred in 2018 and 2019 under the Home Building Act 1989 (NSW) that involved contracting to do residential building work without a licence and without insurance. Mr Sharman has a right of appeal.
In another unrelated matter, Paul Smith was convicted, fined $23,000 and ordered to pay $1,105 in costs for offences under the Australian Consumer Law (NSW) and Home Building Act 1989 (NSW). Mr Smith has a right of appeal.
The above convictions emphasise the importance of consumers checking 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. A licence is also required for all other residential building 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 works.
Check the licence details of a tradesperson with the 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.