Broome former registered builder Dominic John Della Franca (reg. BP12976 & BC12976), trading as Dom Della Constructions, has been fined $20,000 by the Building Services Board for a total of eight allegations of fraudulent and negligent conduct.
The conduct related to building work Mr Della Franca performed at three Broome properties as well as work he carried out for a company contracted to perform landscaping work for the shires of Tom Price and Ashburton.
The Board accepted Mr Della Franca’s admission that he was fraudulent under the Building Services (Registration) Act 2011 in that he:
- provided 24 false subcontractor invoices, timesheets and variations amounting to a total of $234,415.40 to one of the property owners in order to benefit his financial position; and
- provided 16 false requests for reimbursement and/or invoices amounting to a total of $106,117.99 to two companies that employed him as Contract Manager in order to benefit his financial position.
Mr Della Franca also accepted that he was negligent under the Act in that he:
- demanded and received payments in relation to all three of the projects when his contractual right to the payments had not arisen and did not account for the payments in future claims; and
- demanded and received payments for two of the home building contracts prior to providing the owners with a certificate of home indemnity insurance.
“Mr Della Franca’s conduct had the potential to expose the owners to significant financial and personal loss,” Building Commissioner Peter Gow said.
“Anyone who intends to break the building laws is reminded that as well as disciplinary action by the Building Services Board or prosecution by the Building Commissioner, they may also face criminal charges which can result in imprisonment.”
The fraudulent and negligent conduct was committed by Mr Della Franca in 2010 and 2011. The Board had resolved in January and March 2012 to take disciplinary action against Mr Della Franca in the State Administrative Tribunal (SAT), seeking fines, the cancellation of his building practitioner and contractor registrations and for him to be declared an ineligible person for three years. However, in March 2012, Mr Della Franca was declared bankrupt and in May 2012, voluntarily surrendered his building practitioner and contractor registrations.
Satisfied that his unregistered status limited future risk to consumers and the building industry, the Board postponed its disciplinary action against Mr Della Franca while the WA Police pursued criminal matters against him. Some of the criminal matters being pursued against Mr Della Franca related to conduct which was the subject of the Board’s allegations.
On 6 September 2012, Mr Della Franca was convicted of 16 counts of fraud under the Criminal Code. He was sentenced to 18 months imprisonment, which he served, and restitution orders were made against him totalling $109,117.99.
On 8 February 2016, Mr Della Franca was convicted of 22 counts of uttering a forged record with intent to defraud and two counts of stealing. Later that month, he was sentenced to three years imprisonment conditionally suspended for two years, with a restitution order in favour of the home owner in the amount of $18,300.
These criminal convictions can also be the basis for disciplinary action by the Board in its own right.
Mr Gow said, “The Building Commission will continue to hold to account and name those who put the public interest and the reputation of the building industry at risk.”
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