Montrealer claims she was ripped off after St. Sauveur chalet rental was abruptly cancelled
Anastassia Tsvetkova says she paid over $3000 for a few days at a cottage in St. Sauveur — but her reservation was cancelled last minute, and then the owner stopped answering his phone.
"I found it suspicious so I did call the Surete du Quebec," she told CJAD 800 after contacting us through Your Story. "This is when I was told they received multiple complaints about the same situation."
Then she found a Facebook page, with 60 members who all claim to have been scammed by Sylvain Berthelet, called "Victims of Chalets de Prestige".
She says everyone was offered an excuse, but no one got their down payments back after reserving a cottage for the holidays.
The owner of Chalets de Prestige, Sylvain Berthelet, however, insists he's the victim of a crime. He says a couple of disgruntled ex-employees vandalized his properties and stole his cars — and that's what kept him from renting out the spaces, though he could not explain why he stopped answering calls from angry clients.
Berthelet promises that everyone who missed out on their reservations will be re-reimbursed after he speaks to his lawyer and settles business with the employees he says he had to lay off.
The Sûreté du Québec wouldn't confirm that there's an investigation as no charges have been laid, but encourages victims of crime to come forward.
"You better believe there may be others out there, these things they tend to snowball," says the SQ's Sgt. Daniel Thibodeau. "So if you think that you're a victim of a crime contact us and we'll investigate it."
Tsvetkova says she doesn't know why the Sûreté hasn't made an arrest with so many complaints, and felt obligated to warn others.
"I just want to make sure that his name is known because so many people were defrauded," she says. "I just want to make sure no one else rents a cottage."