builder gavel
Both builders have been fined among other penalties. Image – Canva.
  • Ciampa Constructions director was prosecuted for falsifying insurance documents
  • Greenacre's Zakaria Kassar was convicted for using false referee reports

Two persons have been successfully prosecuted by Fair Trading NSW for falsifying documents to obtain work.

Pasqualino Ciampa, director of Ciampa Constructions in southwestern Sydney, was sentenced to 15 months imprisonment, which will be served by the way of Intensive Correction Order (ICO), 180 hours of community service and fined $7,500 for obtaining work by using a false insurance certification. The value of the work was over $770,000.

Additionally, the company was fined $7,500 for receiving payments for work without insurance.

In 2016, Mr Ciampa presented a false insurance certificate to secure a home renovation contract for a couple in Randwick. The couple made payments totalling $668,000 between February 2016 until August 2018 but became suspicious when Mr Ciampa advised the couple he was going overseas and was not certain when he would be returning.

After two weeks, the couple contacted NSW Fair Trading and found the insurance was fradualent.

The couple then eventually confronted Mr Ciampa about the status of the insurance and his response was “Yeah I did. I’ve still done a good job for you. I’ve always put you first. I can get retrospective Home Warranty Insurance.” He didn’t, however, obtain any such insurance.

In a separate prosecution, Greenacre’s Zakaria Kassar was convicted on two charges for using false referee reports to successfully obtain a builder’s licence. He was fined $2,000 and is required to complete 80 hours of community service and received a two-year community corrections order.

Both gentlemen have a right of appeal.

Valerie Griswold, NSW Fair Trading Executive Director of Investigations and Enforcement, said the falsification of documents in the building and trades space could be costly for consumers if an incident were to occur.

The systems we enforce in the construction space exist for a reason – to protect consumers from the financial and emotional stress that comes with defective and non-compliant work,” she said.

“In particular, insurance under the Home Building Compensation Fund exists so that if anything on the build is done not to standard or not done at all, consumers are not liable for the huge sums of money rectification of defective and non-compliant work can cost.

“It is one thing to simply not obtain insurance, but it is another entirely to present savvy consumers with a false document.”

Valerie Grisworld, Fair Trading NSW

Any consumer can check a contractor’s licence for free online at the NSW Fair Trading website.

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