OPP charge cottage country contractor with defrauding more homeowners

A contractor in Ontario’s cottage country already accused of bilking cottagers through alleged renovation scams has been arrested again, provincial police say.

Scott “Scottie” Eisemann, who works in the Muskoka region northwest of Toronto, was already awaiting trial on fraud charges laid last November when he allegedly defrauded more individuals.

OPP Const. Ted Dongelman says Eisemann, 51, is facing charges for a handful of new offences.

“This past week, the OPP arrested and charged the individual with … three counts of fraud over $5,000 and two counts of obtaining [money] by false pretence,” he told CBC News.

They relate to four separate investigations launched between November 2020 and February 2021.

Two involve cottagers in southern Georgian Bay and the Orillia area who claim they paid Eisemann for construction work that was never completed.

The others relate to a loan police say Eisemann obtained using allegedly fraudulent information, and a subcontractor who claims he was paid with a fraudulent cheque.

Police won’t say how much money the alleged victims lost, but CBC news has learned one of the charges relates to a deposit of about $17 000 a GTA couple paid Eisemann for work on their Georgian Bay property.

‘Buyer beware’

Eisemann was previously arrested in November and accused of bilking other cottagers in Parry Sound and the south Muskoka area. 

Eisemann ran Cottage Life Construction, which filed for bankruptcy last year owing cottagers and contractors more than $316,000.

“If you are considering hiring a contractor, I suggest doing your homework, finding a reputable company or contractor and check references, check numerous references, do your homework. and buyer beware,” Dongelman told CBC News.

Eisemann has not responded to emails or calls from CBC News.

He’s also used the names Scott Evan and Scott Daniels.

In July, 2014, Eisemann pleaded guilty to defrauding a 92-year-old, legally-blind Toronto woman out of more than $130,000.

Eisemann convinced the woman her home needed urgent repairs. A court ruled the repairs, in most cases, were unnecessary.

Eisemann was sentenced to two years in prison as a result.

In 2106, he opened Cottage Life Construction.

Cottager still high and dry, out $60K

Liz Saunders is another cottager who’s filed a fraud complaint against Eisemann to the OPP in Bracebridge.

For the past 10 months, her modest cottage has been suspended on blocks two metres in the air after she allegedly paid Eisemann about $64,000 to raise it, build a new foundation, and have the cottage set back down.

She says she had researched Eisemann’s company but only found out later he hadn’t given her his real name.

Liz Saunders’s Bracebridge cottage has been sitting on blocks since last summer. She’s filed a police complaint against Scott Eisemann. (John Lancaster/CBC News)

She claims Eisemann walked off the job with her money, leaving the cottage her grandfather built in 1931 in a precarious position.  

“I was devastated because the whole point was to save the cottage for future generations. And he talked a good talk, walked a good walk,” she told CBC News. 

She says the OPP continue to investigate her complaint.

“The day I had to go and tell my mom, because my mom and I owned the cottage jointly, was one of the worst days of my life because I had to say, ‘You know, all that money you gave me, mom, it’s gone.'” 

Eisemann is scheduled to appear in court later this month on the latest charges.

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