The Irish national allegedly tried to leave the country using his brother’s passport last week
The Irish national was collared by police at Tullamarine Airport as he attempted to use his brother’s passport to leave the country last week.
Twenty householders, mostly elderly people, were targeted in the apparent scam, according to 7News.
In July, police began to receive reports about tradesmen carrying out expensive works on the roofs of residential properties then leaving the work unfinished or in a state of disrepair.
The alleged victims included three sisters who paid $149,450 (€102,000) for roofing works at two properties in, with quotes across both properties reaching more than $200,000 (€137,000).
A total of $95,000 was paid for work at one property, which was assessed by an inspector as not meeting standards and should not have cost more than $10,000.
Another woman who answered an on-line advert to get a downpipe fixed ended up paying $31,900 which an inspector said should have only cost $350.
Detectives went to an address to speak to the 21-year-old Irish man on 28 July but he was not there and later arrested as he allegedly tried to board a flight to Ireland using his brother’s passport.
He was subsequently charged with obtaining property by deception and has now been remanded to appear before the Melbourne Magistrates Court on September 5.
The 21-year-old year old is alleged to have performed work totalling $99,000 on the roof of an 81-year-old man’s home between May and June this year.
However, instead of receiving the service he was promised, the roof was left in worse condition, with the elderly man forced to use pots and pans inside the house to help combat a number of leaks.
A few days later on July 31, three more men, all British nationals, were arrested in connection to over $540,000 worth of alleged roof scams since the beginning of April.
A police spokesman told 7News: “Sadly, it is often some of the more vulnerable or elderly members of our society who are most impacted, for many the emotional distress and loss of confidence and trust in others is just as damaging as the financial fallout.
“There is a possibility that further members of the community have been affected by similar activity, and we are urging anyone who suspects they may have fallen victim to illegitimate building work of this nature to come forward.”