Howard Bursey, owner of Lock-Out Security Inc. in Calgary, has been arrested on warrants issued by Service Alberta’s Consumer Investigations Unit.
He faces 16 charges under the Fair Trading Act and the Criminal Code of Canada, including fraud, theft under $5,000 and operating without the required licence to take money from consumers before work is finished.
Since 2011, Service Alberta has conducted several investigations involving Bursey, Lock-Out Security, Complete Security and other companies. The latest charges involve allegations he accepted deposits for installing residential roll-shutters, security locks, windows and doors without a Pre-Paid Contractor’s Licence and did little or no work after the pre-payment was received.
Prior to his arrest, Bursey was fined $3,500 on previous charges related to the Fair Trading Act. He was also ordered to return $5,632 to his victims.
He has been released on strict conditions including a ban on conducting pre-paid contracting work without holding the required licence.
Anyone who may have pre-paid Bursey for work that was not completed is asked to contact Service Alberta’s investigators at 403-297-5712. Consumers can also file complaints using Service Alberta’s Online Consumer Complaints Form.
- Service Alberta is reminding homeowners that any contractor who signs a contract other than in his or her place of business and requests money before completing home renovations must have a Pre-Paid Contractor’s Licence issued by the province.
- There are a number of helpful home renovation tip sheets designed to help consumers protect themselves. In addition to getting written estimates and checking references, consumers should be wary of contractors who demand a large down payment to buy materials. Most reputable contractors maintain accounts with their suppliers.
- Alberta is the only province to require a Pre-Paid Contractors Licence. A searchable list of licensed pre-paid contractors can be found on the Service Alberta website.