Victim unleashes on church-going fake tradie

By Nat Wallace of https://9now.nine

An unlicensed tradie with a “history longer than religion” when it comes to dodgy building jobs has gone to work on his new image while spending time behind bars.

Tevita Ungounga’s latest project is called AKA Newlife, promising to build a better life for the Tongan community. (Nine)

Tevita Ungounga, who A Current Affair first exposed in 2021, has launched a charitable website where you can buy a ticket, and the first prize is cash or a house built by him.

Ungounga is currently facing more than 50 charges from fraud to illegal work, and was recently put behind bars for breaching his bail by doing more unlicensed and uninsured jobs.

The devout churchgoer appears as the founder of his latest project – AKA Newlife – which promises to help build “a better life for the Tongan Community.”

It describes Ungounga, who was even jailed in Hawaii, as an “expert in construction, micro finance, political systems and the laws of many countries”.

“How can he keep scamming?” asked Jo Wong, whose house resembled a war zone after Ungounga worked on it for over six months.

The mother of two said Ungounga, who’d been working on other properties in the same street, knocked on her door offering to build a retaining wall.

“He portrayed himself as someone who wanted to help, even on a Sunday he’d show up to my place in a nice clean shirt after he came from the church,” she said.

“He scammed an old couple in our neighbourhood and someone put it on Facebook ‘beware of this person’, and yeah my heart just sunk.”

Wong and her husband confronted Ungounga, who they say had taken $120,000 to do the job.

He left the backyard in such a state the house was in danger of sliding off a hill, with the couple given a quote of $300,000 to fix the damage.

A giant boulder was also dropped in their driveway before being moved to a precarious position outside their son’s bedroom.

“At one stage he starts threatening us, ‘if you don’t pay more I won’t do this for you, I won’t clean up for you,” Wong said.

Ungounga had previously been given a 14-month intensive corrections order after taking $235,000 from a pensioner and leaving his house a shell with no running water.

“He’s a pig, a disgusting pig,” Ian O’Connor said at the time.

When A Current Affair confronted Ungounga over that incident he told us that he “never takes the money” and described his victims as liars.

Ungounga has done an interview promoting his latest venture AKA Newlife – it’s unclear if any transactions have taken place but most payment options on the website are currently disabled.

NSW Fair Trading is aware of Ungounga’s involvement with the website.

David Ross, a reputable business owner who is listed as AKA Newlife’s Director of Finance, confirmed Ungounga was the “owner”.

“It worries me a lot,” he replied when asked if Ungounga being in jail concerned him.

“I’m a consultant.

“I don’t know what he’s doing with the bank accounts.”

Mr Ross, despite seemingly not knowing the extent of Ungounga’s offending, described him as a “victim”.

“He did the work and he didn’t get paid,” he said.

A court heard Ungounga had “a history longer than religion” when it came to doing dodgy building work.

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