Toulouse: he invests € 150,000 in his house under renovation, the builder takes the money and disappears into the wild
Victor and his family have bet all their savings on a project to renovate a house in the district of Minimes, Toulouse. But the builder took the money before disappearing into the wild.
“This crook is going to ruin my life for 25 years”, says Victor (1). For the past year, this young father has been living in anguish. The man who was to renovate his house has disappeared, while the victim has received € 150,000. “Money that I had borrowed from the bank and that I have to repay every month,” said the 34-year-old father.
It is in the summer of 2020 that Victor meets AL, the suspect. “I wanted to buy a house. It was AL who showed me around since he owned several real estate agencies at the time. During a discussion, he told me that he also had a company specializing in renovation, “recalls Victor.
He disappears abroad
At the beginning of August 2020, this Airbus employee and his family found the rare pearl, in the district of Minimes. An old building that they want to completely renovate. “I decided to trust this specialist. He made a very good impression on me,” testifies the thirty-something.
Very quickly, meetings between the client, the builder and an architect multiply. “We quantified the work estimated at € 500,000. To reassure me about the deadlines, AL signed a contract on which he undertook to pay penalties in the event of delay on the site,” recalls the victim. And when Victor got a loan from the bank, the entrepreneur asked him for an account, about a third of the total, to reserve the craftsmen and materials. “He provided me with quotes and I paid him € 150,000,” adds Victor.
Neighbors unload their waste on his land
The first days, the workers trained by AL start the work. But the illusion is short-lived. Never seeing the pay arrived, the craftsmen stop everything and leave the site. “I noticed that AL had disappeared with my money, without paying the subcontractors. He also changed his phone number and moved abroad,” says the victim, now traumatized. “I dare not look at my wife and my 2 year old daughter anymore. Because of this scammer, I put them in danger. All our savings have been put into this project, it’s terrible.” To make matters worse, neighbors noticed that the house was abandoned and turned the land into a wild dump. “I had to clean everything, it cost me 4000 €”, reports Victor, annoyed.
Assisted by his lawyer, Me Joris Morer, Victor filed a complaint. Absent on the day of the civil hearing, AL and his company were ordered to reimburse the sums. A short-lived joy since the illusionist is insoluble. “He owns land and property but they are all in the name of his wife. Just like the bank accounts. As for his companies, they have all been liquidated,” says Mr.e Joris Morer. And while pushing the investigations, this lawyer discovered that AL had already been sentenced to a 10-year ban from running a business, in 2010. “The only solution is now a real police investigation. We hope that” they will find this malefactor. I am in contact with other victims. He has re-edited his modus operandi, “warns Victor, very psychologically affected. “Several actions are against these individuals who disappear into the wild after these scams. The mobilization of the police must be exemplary because the damage is significant”, insists Me Joris Morer.