An alleged con artist is facing over 350 charges, accused of acting as an unlicensed engineer in Ontario. Terrifying enough on its own, the accused was allegedly performing crane inspections with forged documents and no legitimate certification.
The Professional Engineers Ontario (PEO), a licensing and regulating body responsible for engineering in the province, announced that Jay Lawrence Harding (also known as Jaye Lawrence Harding) had been issued a whopping 352 charges under the Professional Engineers Act and the Provincial Offences Act.
In a press release, the PEO stated that the accused was “falsely representing himself as a professional engineer in the Kitchener-Waterloo area,” and was reportedly tricking customers using a forged seal and the unearned title of a licensed professional engineer.
Using the business name AJ Ontario Hoist Inspections, Harding is alleged to have conducted at least 80 “inspections” and “non-destructive tests” of cranes and lifting devices in 2021.
The PEO stated that according to its member registry, “Mr. Harding is not presently and has never been licensed as a professional engineer in Ontario. PEO also understands that Mr. Harding does not hold a non-destructive testing certification.”
The release goes on to state that the “PEO believes that Mr. Harding may have falsely represented himself as a professional engineer in respect of crane and lifting device inspections for other entities, posing a broader risk to public safety.”
Harding’s alleged misrepresentation extends beyond the province, and the PEO reports that Harding is believed to have relocated to New Brunswick in 2022, where he incorporated a new sole proprietorship named AJ Hoist Inspections.
“Mr. Harding may therefore continue to falsely represent himself as a professional engineer in New Brunswick,” states the organization.
As part of its ongoing investigation, the PEO asks anyone in possession of documents bearing the name “J.L. Harding”, “J. Harding”, “Jay Harding”, “AJ Ontario Hoist Inspections”, or AJ Hoist Inspections” to contact its enforcement hotline or email with tips.