A ‘turnkey’ contractor has left his clients and workmen furious after leaving behind a trail of debts and unfinished works yet seemingly escaping any sort of legal repercussions.
It appears that Kurt Galea Pace is gaining notoriety in the sector with his clients and workmen approaching Lovin Malta to detail their endless line of debts he’s left in his wake
“This man is heartless, irrelevant of what the workers and the people that pay him are passing through. For him, the most important thing is money and how he will get more!” one said.
Galea Pace has denied all the claims, also threatening Lovin Malta with legal action should this article be published.
A quick look through credit history reveals a long line of disgruntled clientele who try go through the courts in chase of the thousands they’re owed.
Galea Pace, the son of former PN MP Victor Galea Pace and current Sliema Local Councillor Vivienne Galea Pace, made the news in March 2018 after he was ordered to pay the owner of a Rabat villa €109,000 after failing to deliver failed the promised works on time.
The owner had even forked out some €100,000 for building materials that never turned up. Galea Pace said that he has appealed this decision.
It seems that the issue hasn’t slowed Galea Pace down, with him continuing his practices of not paying well after the judgment was passed, as can be seen in a 2019 government gazette.
Beyond the long list of former clients and workmen warning others of Galea Pace, an entire website detailing his misadventures emerged in 2013 and has been regularly updated with comments from disgruntled clients, even up until 2019.
Lovin Malta spoke to clients and workers of Galea Pace who all gave details of similar events while issuing a firm warning for any person wanting to work with him.
Multiple people described how, at first, Galea Pace would earn their trust by ensuring that all payments and works would be done on time and at a rapid pace.
“He was so diligent at the beginning that he would even give me back €10 if he slightly overcharged,” one person said.
“He always paid me and always got me work, so I was happy,” said another.
However, with time, the amount of work and money that Galea Pace owes continues to grow, as do the number of excuses. All the while, the promised developments remain firmly uncompleted. What little work he had actually done, clients found out, were purely superficial features that had little to no cost.
“He has done work for me over the last two years, some good quality work, to be honest, only to end it all by trying to walk away from finishing my gutted out bathroom. Despite having paid in full, I’ve been waiting nine months to finish the job. He’s gone underground, answering no phone calls and emails,” one person explained.
Unfinished bathrooms, incomplete terraces, and sub-standard fittings are some of the claims levelled against Galea Pace. Some people were even left paying more than €10,000 to Galea Pace with little to no results.
“This guy is the biggest con in Malta…STAY AWAY!” one person said.
Sub-contractors claimed that they have even approached Galea Pace’s clients to complain about unpaid work, only to find out that the funds given to him never reached the workers.
“He invents all type of excuses not to pay and leaves you waiting for nothing, but then he dares to call you to go and continue the work,” one former worker said.
Clients told Lovin Malta that his list of excuses range from the practical to the ludicrous, telling clients he could not meet them or answer his phone because: “he needed to exhume the body of family relative”, “his mother went to hospital”, “he hurt his finger”, and “car accidents” to name a few.
Most see little to no point in pursuing the cases further in the courts worried about the legal costs that could be incurred. However, several have taken their issue up with the police, who they say are aware of the problem but are reluctant to pursue a criminal case.
Sources told Lovin Malta that when they spoke to the police they were met with a brick wall. While the officers insisted that they would look into the matter, the case would be hard to pursue without initiating a class action lawsuit.
“It would be one man’s word against another, they told us we would need to be a good group to get something done,” one person said.
Contacted by Lovin Malta, Galea Pace denied all the claims against him, insisting that he has done all work his clients paid for and rather people owed him money.
“They have a chip on their shoulder with nothing better to do,” he said.
He stressed that he always followed stipulated payment plans outlined in contracts, and would only take payment once the works were completed.
However, sources described how he took deposits on everything whether that was fittings or marble, with the products never actually arriving.
While he denied all the claims, he repeatedly asked for who the people making the allegations were, adding that any cases currently against him were sub-judice and therefore he could not comment.
Turning on the newsroom, Galea Pace repeatedly threatened to sue Lovin Malta should the article get published, at one point even saying “we’ll see who owes who money then.”
He later clarified that he would only sue Lovin Malta if the newsroom “published anything that was a lie”.
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