Australia ‘Reno guru’ rips off friends for $100k

19:01  10 august  2018
19:01  10 august  2018 Source:   9news.com.au

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‘ Reno guru ’ rips off friends for $ 100 k . A self-proclaimed renovation guru has been slapped with a community corrections order after stealing 0,000 from her friends . ‘Renovation guru ’ rips off friends for $ 100 k .

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A self-proclaimed renovation guru has been slapped with a community corrections order after stealing $100,000 from her friends.

Unregistered builder Michelle Hosking created fraudulent invoices and overcharged two families undertaking separate projects.

Debbie and Neil Morton wanted to do something nice for themselves after chronic illness forced Mr Morton to retire from the police force, and decided to an upstairs extension on their home.

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‘ Reno guru ’ rips off friends for $ 100 k . A self-proclaimed renovation guru has been slapped with a community corrections order after stealing 0,000 from her friends .

‘ Reno guru ’ rips off friends for $ 100 k . A self-proclaimed renovation guru has been slapped with a community corrections order after stealing 0,000 from her friends .

a man and a woman standing in front of a building: Unregistered builder Michelle Hosking stole $100,000 from her friends. © Provided by Nine Digital Pty Ltd Unregistered builder Michelle Hosking stole $100,000 from her friends.

Mrs Morton told A Current Affair Hosking claimed she could do the project through her "amazing" contacts and get the couple "incredible" prices.

Their initial budget was $30,000.

"Nothing had been done but Michelle was asking, 'Is there any chance you can pay me cash?'" Mrs Morton said.

a close up of a woman: Debbie Morton said she felt © Provided by Nine Digital Pty Ltd Debbie Morton said she felt

As costs mounted, and Mrs Morton was unable to get any answers from Hosking, she went to the tradies directly.

She said the tradies were surprised to hear she had paid out $50,000, as that was not what they had received.

It transpired that Hosking had been altering invoices to charge for work that had not been done, ultimately stealing more than $100,000 from Mrs Morton and another family.

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‘ Reno guru ’ rips off friends for $ 100 k . A self-proclaimed renovation guru has been slapped with a community corrections order after stealing 0,000 from her friends . A current affair. ‘ Reno guru ’ rips off friends for $ 100 k .

a woman standing on a sidewalk: Hosking was slapped with a community corrections order after being charged with theft. © Provided by Nine Digital Pty Ltd Hosking was slapped with a community corrections order after being charged with theft.

"It is a betrayal, it really hurt a lot," Mrs Morton said.

"She was a friend. I just didn't think she would do this."

Hosking had also underquoted Mrs Morton, but the latter was forced to finish the works as a slab had already been laid.

a living area with a desk and chair in a room: The Morton family wanted to put in an upstairs extension on their house. © Provided by Nine Digital Pty Ltd The Morton family wanted to put in an upstairs extension on their house.

Mrs Morton said she spent about $160,000 overall.

Hosking also did not have a builder's registration, despite using the title "project manager".

She was charged with two counts of theft, and was sentenced to a community corrections order that included 250 hours of unpaid community work.

a tree in front of a brick building: The Mortons ultimately spent $160,000 on their project. © Provided by Nine Digital Pty Ltd The Mortons ultimately spent $160,000 on their project.

The judge, who described Hosking's actions as a gross breach of trust, also said he planned to monitor her, which was an unusual step.

"Any little thing, even any driving offence, (the judge) said, 'You'll be off to jail'," Mrs Morton said.

"(Hosking) certainly will be very wary of doing anything wrong by people in the future, I would like to think."

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