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Man charged in basement renovation scam

York Regional Police believe there may be more victims in the scam that saw residents responding to posted signs and online ads and handing over down payments for renovations that never happened
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Charges against Evgeni Ostrovski include fraud over $5,000 and using a forged document. Supplied photo/York Regional Police

NEWS RELEASE
YORK REGIONAL POLICE
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Investigators with the York Regional Police Financial Crimes have laid charges against a 31-year-old man in connection with a home renovation scam.

York Regional Police began an investigation in April 2018 into a large-scale home renovation scam after investigators linked several incidents to the same suspect. Investigators learned that the suspect was advertising his services online, as well through large red-and-white or black-and-yellow signs posted around the region that typically stated 'Finished basements in 3 weeks 416-548-9292 Free estimate.'

In most cases, the victims contacted the number on the ad and the suspect attended to give a quote. The suspect provided quotes and requested a 15 to 40 per-cent down payment from the victim to start the project.

After the victim paid the cash, the suspect would either show up with some products but never do the job or in most cases, he took the deposit and never returned. The suspect also used several alias names on the contracts to avoid being identified.

Investigators identified the suspect and on Nov. 13, 2018, he was arrested and has been charged with several offences.

Investigators are releasing an image of the suspect as they believe there may be more victims.

Charged:

  • Evgeni Ostrovski, 31, of East Gwillimbury

Alias names:

  • Mark Yosupin
  • Eugene Kogan
  • Eugene Ostrobski
  • Evgeni Ostrobski
Charges:
  • Fraud over $5000 x5
  • Fraud under $5,000
  • Use a forged document x4
  • Personation with intent to gain advantage x2
  • Breach of probation x2

Mr. Ostrovski has been held in custody and is scheduled to appear in the Ontario Court of Justice in Newmarket on Wednesday, Nov. 14, 2018.

The investigation is ongoing. Anyone with information is asked to contact the York Regional Police Financial Crimes Unit at 1-866-876-5423, ext.2486, Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS or leave an anonymous tip online here.

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