Contractor, scammer, con artist. Does siding, eavestrough, general contracting. Owns a metal brake, so is able to bend sheet metal.
Description: 5'7", mid- to late-fifties, "squint" (eyes look off in different directions), grey beard, large potbelly. Friendly and extremely talkative.
Claims to be from New Brunswick, speaks with a heavy French accent. May have friends or relatives in the Grand Valley, ON area. Seems to work within Ontario (Toronto area, Barrie area, Ottawa-area and now Thunder Bay). No fixed address.
Does general contracting work -- he did my eavestrough while working for a reputable area company. He then talked me into doing my siding, giving me a quote on a Joel Daniels form. He got half down in advance and dropped off a load of siding -- approximately 1/3 of what would be required. He mentioned that he had just been fired from the reputable local company, but that he would be doing my job himself, along with a couple of other jobs he had lined up. He said that he could only work in cash, as the bank was holding all of his cheques.
He was the epitome of a hard-luck story. Fired, broke, living in a motel. He begged me to drive him to a neighbouring town to reclaim his truck, which had been impounded due to driving too fast (+50 km over the limit). I lent him some money to recover his truck, and even talked the impound lot owner into lowering the fee for him.
He finished one wall (less the gable) and 1/3 of another, and wheedled the rest of the money out of me, followed by a loan so that he could pay his crew. That's the last time I saw him, of course. Now the excuses started. He electrocuted himself at another job site. His brother had a stroke, and he had to drive to N.B. to visit him in the hospital. He got rear-ended on the way back and was in the hospital himself, but he would be back "soon". He did come back while I was at work - to pick up the tools that he had left in my back yard. Now his phone is disconnected - his voice mail was full anyways, and he had stopped answering it.
He left me with 1 2/3 walls left unfinished, along with three gables -- and no more siding. He also disappeared with my old red 1996 GMC Sierra 4x4 (may now be painted gray). I've been forced to purchase the remainder of the siding myself and install it. In the process, I discovered that Armand doesn't know how to install siding, or even how to properly bend fascia, since I've had to remove his completed work, re-bend the fascia metal and re-install it so that it wasn't catching water and funneling it into the attic. I also had to remove and reinstall the siding that he had done, since he used screws directly through the face of the plastic, rather than nails through the holes - if left up, the entire wall would have been warped by next summer.
I was far too trusting, of course, and I got scammed. It won't happen again.
He has no fixed address (that I know of) and changes cell phones every couple of weeks, so I am posting this page for the search engines to find. Hopefully people will Google his name first before they give him any cash.
In summary - if you are thinking of hiring him as a contractor, DON'T give him any cash until the job is finished -- no matter what. He has worked in a crew before, but obviously has issues completing a job on his own -- he'll need close supervision and instruction. If you want him as an employee -- he WILL use your good name to line up his own cash jobs on the side. I can provide the names and contact information for at least two former employers and one metal/siding distributor who could provide some illuminating trade references.
His method of operation always seems to be very similar to the above -- he will quote a good price, and will either get a deposit and disappear, or will purchase some materials, start the job, ask for more money up front for various reasons, then disappear. The police often won't charge him if the job was partially completed; they may advise to go after him in small claims court, which will do absolutely no good whatsoever, as he doesn't have any money to recover, and wouldn't hold a job long enough to have his wages garnished.
If this webpage is still active, it means that Armand still hasn't finished the job. If anyone spots this elusive creature, please drop me (Grant) a line via "webmaster" at this site, ontariostrongman.ca. I do post updates when I hear that he is in a new area.
May 2012 - Greely, Ontario (a bit south of Ottawa)
July 2012 - in Thunder Bay, where he was working for a reputable contracting outfit there.
Oct/12: his former Thunder Bay employers were smart -- they kept an eye on him, and I understand that he is no longer with them, but he is still in the area working independently.
Nov/12: He was working several more con jobs in Thunder Bay, and it finally caught up with him -- I understand that he has been charged and is currently incarcerated in Thunder Bay. Small consolation, but hopefully he'll be in there for a while.