February 21, 2024


Business Woman

Stephanie Lamontagne, Sudbury court docket, fraud, Justice Dan Cornell

6 min read

The owner/operator of a Sudbury contracting small business who approved a substantial down payment to transform a rest room, but did not do any work and dodged returning the customer’s dollars till the eve of demo, has been specified a conditional discharge.

“Miss (Stephanie) Lamontagne, this is a critical offence,” Top-quality Court docket Justice Dan Cornell explained Tuesday. “The seriousness of the offence is created really apparent in the words of the target effect assertion offered by (the sufferer) … The truth of the make any difference is you took a really significant deposit, around 50 for every cent of the deal charge. The do the job was hardly ever performed. The empty claims you created that the operate would be done at some time. The vacant guarantees of a refund would be designed sooner than later.

“You made a established of hardships for (the sufferer) and her family members in a most difficult time in her existence. It took three several years for you to make an present to suitable the scenario, on the Friday in advance of the 7 days the demo was to get started. I obviously contemplate this to be an aggravating issue.”

In addition to a conditional discharge, Justice Cornell recognized the Crown recommendation for a one-12 months probation purchase with compulsory ailments that Lamontagne consider counselling for monetary scheduling and business enterprise administration

Lamontagne, who acted as her possess law firm, requested for an absolute discharge as she thought a conditional discharge would deliver a criminal document. Each assistant Crown Sandra City and the decide stressed to her that was not the scenario. With a conditional discharge, a probation purchase can be hooked up, but that does not take place with an complete discharge.

Lamontagne also explained news coverage of her scenario would be “heavily damaging” to her, her spouse and children and her enterprise, and questioned that an preliminary ban on publication with the scenario remain in spot. That was a reference to The Sudbury Star remaining in the courtroom.

A normal ban on publication, even so, is lifted when a subject is fixed in courtroom or a demo starts off.

“It must be really distinct your actions are inexcusable, and that denunciation is acceptable,” Cornell mentioned. “It is correct there is publicity right here so that some others will hear and be deterred. They will be deterred by the fact there are implications for this type of conduct.”

Lamontagne, 35, pleaded not responsible to fraud over $5,000 between May well 1 and Oct. 31, 2017, but after City outlined the info in the circumstance, did not provide any defence proof.

Cornell subsequently issued a guilty acquiring.

That getting, nevertheless, came right after Lamontagne appeared to be not sure about what was taking place and Cornell stressed she had a proper to a demo. Lamontagne eventually mentioned to carry on.

On Friday, Lamontagne visited the Sudbury Crown attorney’s place of work with a licensed cheque masking the down payment revenue – $14,577 – designed out to the victim. There was no desire attached to the complete.

On Tuesday, Lamontagne had been set to get started a judge-by itself Superior Courtroom demo on two fraud costs.

As a consequence of the guilty finding, the Crown withdrew the other fraud charge.

This is not the initially time Lamontagne has been identified guilty of fraud.

In November, pursuing a 7-day Ontario Court Justice demo, she was convicted of fraud about $5,000 in one more situation similar to the a person dealt with Tuesday.

She was to have been sentenced in March, but the closure of Ontario courts because of to the coronavirus pandemic delayed sentencing.

Lamontagne will now be sentenced Nov. 18 in that situation. Town indicated the Crown will be searching for either custody or property arrest.

The court listened to Tuesday that in April 2017, a local female was buying a property in Naughton and was to choose possession in early June, but would hold off until early July to get lavatory remodelling do the job done.

The female ended up with 3 quotations from contractors to do the work, but decided to go with the Apex Residence Administration quotation, despite it being the maximum a person at $29,154 since she felt a lot more at ease dealing with Lamontagne.

A line of credit rating with an fascination fee of 7.95 for every cent was used to make the down payment.

A 50 per cent down payment for the operate was created and work was to be carried out from June 12 and June 26.

When June 12 arrived, no function was started out owing to the function crew currently being unwell, the lady was informed, and a 1-7 days delay would come about. Just one 7 days afterwards, Lamontagne indicated she was unwell. The do the job would be done shortly, she indicated.

That under no circumstances happened and the lady would depart messages with Lamontagne, most of which had been unreturned. No operate was at any time began and the girl sooner or later asked for her down payment back again.

The target received so pissed off she inevitably went to Increased Sudbury Police and reported what had happened. An investigation was released and Lamontagne was billed.

The investigation discovered that the Apex Assets Management business enterprise lender account was practically $7,800 in the pink in 2017, but improved to about $4,500 in the crimson at just one stage.

It was also found that Apex Residence Administration had a company licence issued by the metropolis in 2014, but it expired at the close of 2016 irrespective of a reminder by the bylaw section to get it renewed.

When questioned by Cornell if she recognized the Crown’s info in the case, Lamontagne mentioned “I do. My version of my facet of the story is missing from that, but indeed, I do concur.”

“If you want to tell your facet of the tale, you will have to have a demo,” Cornell informed Lamontagne.

“I recognize, but I never agree,” mentioned Lamontagne.

“If you do not want to carry on this way, I would recommend for the fifth or sixth time you have a correct to demo,” mentioned the judge.

“Proceed with this,” Lamontagne finally made a decision.

In the woman’s sufferer effects assertion read through in by Town, she claimed she felt “overwhelming relief’” at last but not least receiving her money again Friday and becoming able to set the incident driving her.

“I did not believe that I would ever see my income yet again,” she wrote. “I was in a susceptible placement in my life when I hired Stephanie to do lavatory renovations. Stephanie was extremely encouraging and responsive until the day she received my dollars. It all went downhill from there.

“I was at a small place in my existence and it was created even worse by Stephanie. Fourteen-thousand, five hundred and seventy-7 bucks is a good deal of revenue to truly feel slipping away. I know I was a fool to give her my income up entrance like that.”

The woman claimed she experienced to struggle to spend again the line of credit and experienced to make frugal selections, dropped a great deal of rest and dealt with anxiety.

“I was backed into a economic corner by Stephanie,” explained the girl.”Nobody sets out to be a target, but Stephanie designed me into a single … Nobody gave her the proper to change me into a sufferer. I am extremely pleased she finally, in excess of 3 a long time later, paid me again and for me now, this is around.”

In her sentencing submission, Town reported Lamontagne needs to consider compulsory courses to accurate her conduct and that can be performed by a probation order hooked up to a conditional discharge.

“Financial arranging and small business administration counselling obviously will be of wonderful reward to Miss out on Lamontagne to handle the difficulties of denunciation and deterrence and telling other people there are consequences for this form of behaviour, and it’s not Alright to do this in this scenario.”

In her sentencing submission, Lamontagne claimed she was going by a rough period in her existence in 2017 and has adjusted the way her business enterprise operates, and no more time getting large deposits for contracted work, even although that is how she was taught.

“I don’t want to put persons in a situation they shouldn’t be in,” she explained. “It was never my intention to do that. I just fell at the rear of … I attempted my finest. I said from the commencing she would be paid again no matter of what happens to me.”

Lamontagne also stated she has learned to belief only herself.

“I cannot count on any person else,” she claimed.


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Twitter: @HaroldCarmichae


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