Scammer in strife again

A man who pleaded guilty to scamming survivors of the Black Saturday bushfires has again found himself in trouble with the law after he was convicted of failing to supply furniture to customers who had paid for the items.

Stuart Ritchie Mitchell, of Rye, trading under the business name Denizen Sport, received $1750 in May 2011 for two, eight-seater player benches that were never delivered.

In September that year he promised to fully refund the customer but failed to do so.

Also in May 2011, Darebin City Council paid Mitchell $3355 for two, eight-seater player benches. Again, they were not supplied.

Consumer Affairs Victoria prosecuted Mitchell in the Melbourne Magistrates Court for unspecified breaches of Australian consumer law.

He was convicted on December 13, fined $8000 and ordered to repay his customers in full.

In November 2011, Mitchell pleaded guilty to charges of breaching Victoria's building, fair trading and business names laws after he took $11,000 from a Kinglake couple to rebuild their house, which had been destroyed on Black Saturday. Mitchell was working as an unregistered builder and had claimed he would build a new house from a container on their Kinglake property.

After the couple discovered Mitchell's claims were false, they tried to end the contract and demanded a refund, which was not given.

He was fined $1500 without conviction and ordered to repay the Kinglake couple plus $2204 in court costs.

This story Scammer in strife again first appeared on The Age.