A 31-year-old East Gwillimbury man who advertised finished basements in just three weeks faces fraud and other charges following a lengthy investigation.

York Regional Police (YRP) launched an investigation in April after linking several incidents to the same suspect. He reportedly advertised his services online and through large red-and-white or black-and-yellow signs posted around the region that typically stated, “Finished basements in 3 weeks 416-548-9292 Free estimate.”

In most cases, the victims contacted the number on the ad and the suspect attended to give a quote and requested a 15 to 40 per cent down payment to start the project. Once he received cash, he would either show up with some products but never do the job or – in most cases – took the deposit and never returned. The suspect used several alias names on the contracts to avoid being identified, YRP reports.

Evgeni Ostrovski was arrested on November 13 and charged with five counts of fraud over $5,000, fraud under $5,000, four counts of using a forged documentation, two counts of personation with intent to gain advantage and two counts of breach of probation. He was held in custody and scheduled to appear in court in Newmarket on November 14.

The accused is also known by the following aliases: Mark Yosupin, Eugene Kogan, Eugene Ostrobski and Evgeni Ostrobski. Police have released an image of the suspect because they believe there may be more victims. Anyone with information should contact the Financial Crimes Unit at 1-866-876-5423, ext. 2486, Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS or leave an anonymous tip online at www.1800222tips.com.

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