Let me tell you a little about myself before I got into this mess. I am 29 years old, a father of two small children 2 and 5. My wife was a medical assistant at a doctors office and I was a service contractor for Direct Energy. We live in Milton and owned a semi detached home. When I wasn't working for Direct Energy I was trying to generate my own customers though Kijiji. I had placed an ad in kijiji like none other, I was offering to barter my heating services to other contractors for their skills. This is how I met Jeff Brioux, he was in need of a furnace for a home he was building in North Bay. I installed his furnace and in return he would provide me with kitchen cabinets. After installing the furnace we began to talk about business.
Jeff told me that he is a home builder that has built and sold many homes in Canada through his 35 year career. He is now a consultant for businesses that have deficiencies and he is hired to rectify those issues. [continued below]....
..... Due to a 10 year competition agreement with Mattamy Homes regarding their modular home plant in Milton that apparently he was deeply involved in it existence and is due to expire very soon. So he tells me that he has been planning the start of Alendria Homes Ltd. which will be a modular home plant owed and operated by him.
From this modular home plant Jeff (Alendria Homes Ltd.) will be selling "franchises" to investors like myself which include a territory and a model home. The homes sold in the "franchisees" territory will be constructed and transported to the site where I must insure that the foundation is installed prior to delivery. This is the concept I invested in. 50-50 on the profit of any up to ten homes between myself and Jeff was an additional agreement between the two of us because he tells me that the franchise is valved at $500,000 of which $250,000 goes to his lawyer on each franchise sold.
I put a second mortgage on my home and gave him $25,000 for my "franchise". Since that day Jeff and I has spent hours every day on the phone talking about his plans and my role for the company. Jeff and his family now take a trip to Halifax. He tells me he is looking for land to build, he asks me to source out contractors in Moncton NB and gather contacts for specific trades. Done. I collected over 50 emails from different trade companies interested in the project. He had spent over a week out there in the Moncton area, he expressed to me that there is a lot of potential to build there because of the market but he couldn't find the right spot.
Weeks and months go by, we continue to communicate daily. I spent a lot of my own time and money commuting and spending nights in North Bay to helping him finish the home he was building when I met him. He actually got to know a lot of personal truths and facts about myself through conversation, like that I had no credit cards but a great credit score (741). That killed me. He convinced me that I would needed to have credit cards to operate when the time comes, so I got three credit cards.
One day he calls and says there is an opportunity for us to start building now in the Ottawa area. Jeff says he met a developer, Al that has 30 plus lots in a new development called Country Estates and he has convinced him that he can build and sell at least 5-7 of the homes in the subdivision. For myself to be involved in this I must buy one of the houses A Group built so Al can get his money out to fund the project and the value in the area will reflect the purchase price. Al and Jeff told me that when I buy the house the mortgage will be taken care of every month for one year, the payroll and construction related costs through my corporation will be paid bi-weekly. On top of that there is 11 acres of land on the main road at Hwy 15, that we can use as an office and construction facility for now and in a few weeks A Group and Alendria Homes are going to build a Modular Home plant on the land.
Ok, now I'm excited. This is a dream for me as an entrepreneur and a young man with dreams of providing a fulfilled life for his family. I put a 3rd mortgage on my home in Milton to make the purchase of the home in the subdivision and dream come true. My wife and leave our jobs, move to Carleton Place, sell our home in Milton. When our Milton home sold we were short over $23,000, we had to sign a promissory note for the amount which was fine with us because we understood that the mortgage will be covered for our new home in Carleton Place. ($4,400/mo)
First mortgage payment coming up September 13, monies to my company for the mortgage and payroll always went from Al to Jeff then to me. Three mortgage payment didn't get paid in five months, the mortgage is now in default.
When I started questing Jeff about the poor operation of the company, the delay in permits to build the plant and the money for remittances not going into the account or being paid out and the fact that I really had no control of any aspect of the company other than my name is being used on credit apps, Notice of Construction Forms he began to avoid conversation with me as much as he could. Checks bounced and bills added up. My wife and I couldn't handle the dismay so we left and came back to Milton December 1st
My corporation was still very much apart of the construction in January. In the middle of that month I received a text message from Jeff saying he paid out all employees this week from his company Alendria Homes but still put it through my company payroll. And Al doesn't want me working in the subdivision anymore, he doesn't want me in the subdivision or on the office property. They will continue to build without me. Just like that my dreams were over, my credit was destroyed and my wife and I are in debt for over $750,000.
On December 8th, 2012 one week after I had moved back to Milton I had sent Al an invitation on a social media web site called LinkedIn to join my network. He replied "Hi Justin I hope you understand that I never let my contact information out anywhere on the web. I, on the other hand, would always be available to give a strong personal recommendation for you to anyone that you might get to call me. But not on any web social networking etc site. I hope that's ok." Only weeks later after having no contact with him I was told by a sub-contractor that we both know, "Al said you're arrogant and hard to work with that's why he cut you off." Hearing this disturbed me greatly, which lead me to find out that Al and Jeff Brioux had actually met one another months before but after I had met Jeff. They had devised a plan to build homes through me, this way they can evade taxes and cut labor costs by paying hourly workers from my company. Although A Group took a huge risk allowing an inexperienced young man in myself use their Terion registration number to build homes, they were able to collect over $500,000 from the bank by submitting inflated invoices.
On top of that, on December 13, 2012 l received an email from Jeff, it's the long awaited building permit application for the "modular home plant." The scheme for this build was to have the 11 acres appraised, then stick frame a 40,000 square foot building through my company. I had received the architectural drawing for it a month prior. This building was said to be appraised at 5.5M once constructed. Then take me "the puppet" to a private lender and put a large mortgage on the property. The funds now available would be divided amongst the three of us in some fashion. And I would get enough money from the loan to carry it till is sells, hummm I've heard this before.