Shed rip-off merchant will have day in court
THE law has caught up with a dodgy shed company owner who has ripped off dozens of customers and tradespeople across south-east Queensland.
Paul Jason William DeBruin will face Brisbane Magistrates Court on August 3, where he will be sentenced over a string of offences including fraud and forgery.
The charges followed an investigation by Mt Gravatt detectives, in relation to DeBruin's business dealings in the southern suburbs of Brisbane, and Logan, where even more of his victims reside.
The Queensland Times first learned of Paul DeBruin after being contacted by customers of Patios and Sheds Ipswich, a business that until earlier this year was operated out of Warwick Rd, opposite the showgrounds.
Patios and Sheds Ipswich closed in January, leaving customers out of pocket tens of thousands of dollars.
The QT spoke to at least a dozen families, businesses and even schools that were caught out, and the coverage was followed by an investigation by the Queensland Building and Construction Commission.
That QBCC investigation ultimately resulted in DeBruin being excluded from holding a licence.
The charges currently before the Brisbane Magistrates Court relate to the operations of two of his previous businesses, Sunrise Erections and Queensland Steel Constructions.
DeBruin will be sentenced on August 3 for forgery, fraud, making a false statutory declaration and uttering a forged document.
Another nine charges were dropped when DeBruin faced court in Brisbane last Friday, however Mt Gravatt detectives are still investigating and further charges could be laid.
A steady flow of people still owed money by DeBruin has been contacting the QT over the past few months, with some questioning why police hadn't acted on their complaints.
Police have told the QT that many cases involving DeBruin would not constitute a criminal offence, but could be pursued through civil avenues.
Nevertheless, Barellan Point dad Scott Darrell said he was happy to hear police had caught up with DeBruin.
Mr Darrell is out of pocket more than $25,000 after a shed he ordered from Patios and Sheds Ipswich was never delivered.
"Unfortunately, he should have been stopped before he even got to Ipswich," Mr Darrell said.