PICKERING, Ont. – A Durham-region contractor raged at a Global News TV crew after being asked why he took deposits from customers but didn’t finish, or in some cases, even start work.
“You again!” screamed Maurizio Ercolani at the crew, three months after the original Global News story documenting complaints.
Ercolani, 55, of Bolton, is the subject of multiple consumer complaints alleging he took substantial cash payments yet did not fulfill commitments.
Mohammad Bilal Arif, of Mississauga, says he gave Ercolani almost $11,000 this summer for an array of upgrades to the exterior and interior of his home. He says Ercolani dug holes in his backyard, ripped up his old driveway and left the property a mess.
WATCH: Sean O’Shea explains the history of complaints tied to Ercolani
“He would do 10 minutes of work, then sit outside my house in the car for four hours,” said Arif, who has lodged a complaint with the Ontario Ministry of Consumer Services. He says he tried to get work done but Ercolani ignored his phone calls.
“We have proof he has done this before and he’s doing it again,” Arif said . “When is it going to stop?”
Teresa Ursomarzo of Vaughan has waited three years for Ercolani to finish the work he started. She gave the contractor $18,000 in a series of eight cash payments for basement, kitchen, bathroom and painting upgrades.
“I gave him 95 per cent of the money and he did 50 per cent of the work,” said Ursomarzo, who attempted to file a small claims court action against Ercolani. But her attempts to serve the paperwork failed because she couldn’t locate Ercolani’s correct address.
“I’m Italian, he’s Italian —; I thought he was somebody I could trust,” she said.
In July, other consumers contacted Global News complaining that Ercolani had accepted cash for work he didn’t perform.
Nicolina Squillace says she paid Ercolani $4,000 cash for a new roof, but he didn’t show up to replace her existing one.
“Doesn’t he have a conscience? I mean, is there no conscience in this man at all,” she said.
Confronted in Pickering about the barrage of complaints, Ercolani punched the lens of a Global News camera and grabbed a microphone. He called 9-1-1 and a Pickering Fire Department truck and a Durham police sergeant showed up. The officer told Ercolani the news crew was within its legal right to videotape and question him on public property.
Ercolani left a profanity-riddled message on a reporter’s cell phone following the incident promising legal action would be taken against the crew.
However, in leaving the street, Ercolani ran into some legal difficulties of his own. With the news camera rolling and the Durham police officer watching, Ercolani drove his truck past a stop sign without slowing down. The officer told Global News that an investigation into that incident is underway that could lead to charges.