A HALLIDAYS Point builder found guilty of making and supplying copies of a fraudulent Home Warranty Insurance certificate has been ordered to perform a sentence of 150 hours of community service, pay costs of $2,148 and placed on a good behaviour bond for 12 months by the Wyong Local Court.
David John Whitmore was convicted of eight forgery offences under the Crimes Act as a result of his production and supply of a fake Vero Home Warranty Insurance certificate.
NSW Fair Trading Commissioner Rod Stowe said David Whitmore altered the details on the certificate and supplied copies to a consumer, a building surveyor, a building certifier and the local council.
Mr Stowe said Fair Trading had commenced an investigation into the activities of David Whitmore after receiving a consumer complaint regarding the supply of a fraudulent certificate relating to the contract to build the consumer’s new home in Lindfield.
David Whitmore contracted under the company name Whitmore and Sons Pty Ltd trading as Nu-steel Homes. The company licence issued by NSW Fair Trading was restricted to contracts for residential building work not requiring Home Warranty Insurance.
During the Fair Trading investigation, David Whitmore admitted he had used an electronic scanner and computer to alter the particulars of a validly issued Vero Home Warranty Insurance Certificate that he had obtained in November 2008 to create the false documents he later used.
Commissioner Stowe said Home Warranty Insurance is an integral part of the consumer protection package.
“For people building or renovating, Home Warranty Insurance provides a set period of cover for loss caused by defective or incomplete work in the event of the death, disappearance or insolvency of the contractor,” Mr Stowe said.
On 1 July 2010, the NSW Self Insurance Corporation, trading as the NSW Home Warranty Insurance Fund, took over as the sole provider of Home Warranty Insurance in NSW.
From 1 February 2012, Home Warranty Insurance is required where the contract price is over $20,000. Home Warranty Insurance policies must provide cover of at least $340,000. Between February 28, 2007 and January 31, 2012 the minimum cover that had to be provided was
$300,000. For more information visit the NSW Fair Trading website at www.fairtrading.nsw.gov.au.