Wa­ter fil­ter sell­ers charged with bilk­ing Burling­ton se­nior of $210,000

The Hamilton Spectator - - LOCAL - NI­COLE O’REILLY nor­eilly@thes­pec.com 905-526-3199 | @Ni­coleatTheSpec

BURLING­TON — Hal­ton po­lice say a Burling­ton se­nior was de­frauded of more than $210,000 af­ter be­ing tar­geted by ag­gres­sive door-todoor wa­ter fil­tra­tion sales­peo­ple over five years.

While one vic­tim has come for­ward in Hal­ton, po­lice in other ju­ris­dic­tions are in­ves­ti­gat­ing other pos­si­ble vic­tims and po­lice be­lieve there could be more vic­tims lo­cally.

The in­ves­ti­ga­tion by the vul­ner­a­ble per­son’s unit be­gan last fall af­ter the 80-year-old vic­tim’s nephew helped to alert po­lice, said Det. Const. Na­dine Clarke.

The vic­tim had gone to her nephew over fi­nan­cial trou­ble, she said. He no­ticed prob­lems in her bank­ing and credit card in­for­ma­tion and has since be­come power of at­tor­ney.

Clarke de­scribed the woman as “the per­fect vic­tim,” as her hus­band had passed away and didn’t have any fam­ily close to her.

The two ac­cused and the com­pa­nies they pre­vi­ously owned and worked for are known to po­lice and the prov­ince be­cause of ag­gres­sive sales tac­tics and vi­o­la­tions of the Con­sumer Pro­tec­tion Act, she said.

While po­lice know the pair knew each other, it’s not yet clear if they were for­mally work­ing to­gether.

Clarke said the vic­tim’s fi­nan­cial in­for­ma­tion showed a num­ber of is­sues, in­clud­ing dou­ble billing for the same work and unau­tho­rized credit card with­drawals.

Derek Calvin, 38, of Hamil­ton, is fac­ing three counts of theft over $5,000 and two counts of theft un­der $5,000. He was re­leased on a prom­ise to ap­pear in court March 15.

Po­lice say he’s as­so­ci­ated with a num­ber of busi­nesses in­clud­ing; Pure Air Clean, World­wide In­dus­tries, Ea­gle Wa­ter and In­door Air Care Prod­ucts.

He was pre­vi­ously charged with fraud by Hal­ton po­lice in 2012, but that charge was with­drawn.

Ed­gordo Cas­tro, 41, of Brant­ford, is fac­ing a charge of fraud over $5,000 and unau­tho­rized use of a credit card. He was re­leased on a prom­ise to ap­pear in court March 8.

Po­lice said he was the owner of Uni­ver­sal Wa­ter Tech­nolo­gies.

A year ago Cas­tro was charged with fraud by Water­loo Re­gional Po­lice for al­leged fraud­u­lent credit card trans­ac­tions.

Ac­cord­ing to re­ports in Water­loo Re­gion-area me­dia at the time, po­lice said they were look­ing into whether Cas­tro’s com­pany, which went by New Age Home Care Prod­ucts and for­merly Uni­ver­sal Wa­ter Tech­nolo­gies, sold over­priced wa­ter treat­ment sys­tems by door-todoor sales and tele­mar­ket­ing. That case is still be­fore the courts. Hal­ton po­lice are ask­ing any ci­ti­zens with con­cerns they may have been vic­tim­ized to call po­lice at 905825-4747, ext. 5345 or ext. 2344.

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