Calgary Herald

Red Deer businessma­n accused of defrauding clients of $140,000

- STEpHanE maSSinon smassinon@CalgaryHer­ald.Com

After a year-long RCMP investigat­ion, a Red Deer man has been charged for allegedly running a fraudulent business that ripped people off in Alberta, B.C. and the United States.

Police say the 45-year-old business owner promised to sell them shredding equipment, but did not deliver.

“The victims provided money to the accused, either as a deposit or as the full pur- chase price of the equipment, and then the equipment was never delivered,” said RCMP spokesman Const. Chris Kosack.

The man is also accused of going on a spending spree — booking a trip, buying hockey jerseys and paying his bills — with a client’s credit card.

Lesley Billett of Shred Truck & Equipment faces 17 counts of fraud over $5,000, five counts of fraud under $5,000, one count of fraudulent use of credit card data, and three counts of uttering forged documents.

He is accused of stealing more than $140,000 between 2007 and 2010.

Reached at his home, Billett denied the charges and said he would fight them in court.

He claims the delivery problems were caused by an American company.

“They haven’t delivered it, so I’m taking it on the teeth,” he said.

Billett declined further comment.

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