Belfast business owner charged with home repair fraud

By Abigail Curtis, BDN Staff
Posted Feb. 28, 2014, at 1:34 p.m.

BELFAST, Maine — After a lengthy investigation, police have charged the owner of a Belfast garage door sales and installation company with home repair fraud.

The probe, which resulted in a Class D charge of fraud, targeted Michael Mortell, 51, of Belfast, who runs WinsMor Garage Door Co. Inc. on Mill Lane in Belfast. Detective Sgt. Bryan Cunningham of the Belfast Police Department said he began his investigation after a Bristol couple complained at the end of December that Mortell had not installed three garage doors he had verbally agreed to install for them at the end of September.

The couple had given Mortell a check for $1,000 that served as a down payment for the work he agreed to do at their Lincoln County home. Mortell told them that one of their garage doors needed to be custom-ordered and might take as long as four weeks to arrive, and that he estimated he’d have the doors installed within six weeks. He cashed and deposited the check on Sept. 30, Cunningham said.

“Six weeks came and went. They kept trying to contact him. He put them off,” Cunningham said.

In December, the woman happened to be driving through Belfast and stopped at the business to check on her garage doors. Mortell told her he’d be around soon to do the installation, but didn’t show up, Cunningham said.

The couple then learned that WinsMor’s Better Business Bureau’s accreditation had been revoked on Dec. 18, and decided to get in touch with police. Cunningham learned that Mortell hadn’t ordered the garage doors until Nov. 14, the same time he said he’d probably be installing them.

If found guilty of the Class D charge of home repair fraud, it is likely Mortell will have to pay a fine and restitution, Cunningham said.

 

http://bangordailynews.com/2014/02/28/news/midcoast/belfast-business-owner-charged-with-home-repair-fraud/ printed on August 20, 2014