Jack Singer Case Study
The Crown & Appellant Jack Singer
The appellant grossly overcharged Mrs. Heath, the complainant, for services from his home renovation business “Stay in Place Renovations”
The Crown convicted the appellant for fraud over $5,000 and theft, in relation to “Stay in Place Renovations”
Mrs Heath, the complainant, is a 76 year old woman who is mentally ill. She has owned her current house for 30 years, and currently lives alone. After receiving a brochure from Appellant Jack Singer, the complainant called him as she was seeking renovation work for her house. When the appellant and his associate Brent Sternberg met her on August 13th 2008, they signed a $5,617.50 contract for renovation work. Days later, she …show more content…
His evidence was rejected. The trial judge convicted the appellant of fraud, concluding that the appellant had grossly overcharged the complainant, in comparison to industry standards. He found that the overcharge was anywhere from $85,000-$200,000. The appellant was also found guilty of theft, based on the fact that after Mr. Heath had spoke to the appellant, he kept the money that the complainant had paid them- even though he had terminated work on the house and left it uninhabitable.
1: Did the judge err in his finding that overcharging amounted to fraud?
2: Did the judge err in qualifying on of the Crown witnesses (Rudy Mulder) as an expert, despite him being an acquaintance of the complainants son?
3: Did the judge err in convicting the appellant of theft in addition to fraud?
1. Conduct which reasonable and decent persons would consider dishonest and unscrupulous can be considered as “other fraudulent means.” Whether overcharging amounts to fraud is fact specific, the finding can be made based on evidence and the specific amount over $5,000 does not need to be stated.
2. When the owner of the thing stolen has no intention of parting with it, it is theft. When the owner intents to part with the property but it is obtained from him by an act of deliberate deception, then it is …show more content…
“In theft the owner of the thing stolen has no intention to part with his property therein to the person taking it, while in the case of deceit, falsehood or other fraudulent means the owner does intend to part wit his property in the money or chattel, but is is obtained from him by an act of deliberate deception, practised with the object of gaining something of recognized value from the owner to his prejudice.” (R. v. Lake,  O.R. 1009 C.A. ) Having regards to the distinction between theft and fraud that has just been mentioned, the trial judge did in fact err in convicting the appellant of theft in addition to fraud. The complainant did intend to part with her money, yet she was induced to do so by “other fraudulent means.” The fact that the complainant had the intent of parting with her money means that this was not theft, only