Press Release

For Immediate Release
Contact: Cara Smith
312-814-3118
877-844-5461 (TTY)

csmith@atg.state.il.us
September 19, 2006

MADIGAN SUES FENCING CONTRACTOR FOR ACCEPTING DEPOSITS AND THEN FAILING TO PERFORM WORK CONTRACTED FOR

Chicago–Attorney General Lisa Madigan today filed a lawsuit in Cook County Circuit Court alleging that a Will County man and his daughter collected approximately $4,500.00 in down payments from consumers to install fencing on their property and then either failed to perform the work or completed it in a shoddy manner.

Madigan’s lawsuit names as defendants Kenneth Jarose and Shannon McCarthy, doing business as Econ-O-Link Fence Builders. The business is operated out of Jarose’s residence located at 18307 Parker Road, Mokena, Illinois.

Since 2005, Madigan’s Consumer Fraud Bureau has received 7 consumer complaints against Econ-O-Link Fence Builders. The complaints allege that Jarose and McCarthy entered into contracts with consumers for the installation of fencing on the consumers’ property. The defendants allegedly collected down payments from consumers at the time the contracts were signed and then either failed to begin the work or performed work in a shoddy and unworkmanlike manner. Defendants failed to refund $4,500.00 in down payments from consumers who have complained to Madigan’s office.

“My office is dedicated to enforcing consumer protection laws to ensure that fraudulent home repair contractors aren’t running away with homeowner’s money,” Madigan said. “With this lawsuit, we hope to recoup money for consumers who were damaged by the defendants’ unfair and deceptive practices”.

According to Madigan’s lawsuit, several consumers entered into contracts with defendants for the installation of fencing. The consumers paid defendants down payments ranging from $1,500.00 to $3,000.00. Defendants then allegedly failed to perform the work contracted for or to refund consumers’ down payments when requested to do so.

Madigan’s lawsuit charges defendants with multiple violations of the Illinois Consumer Fraud and Deceptive Business Practices Act and the Illinois Home Repair and Remodeling Act. In addition to allegedly performing work in a shoddy and unworkmanlike manner and failing to provide refunds to consumers, defendants are charged with failing to provide homeowners with the “Home Repair: Know Your Consumer Rights” pamphlet, as required under Illinois law.

Madigan’s lawsuit asks the court to prohibit the defendants from engaging in the trade and from further violating Illinois’ consumer protection laws. The lawsuit seeks a civil penalty of $50,000 and additional penalties of $50,000 for each violation found to have been committed with the intent to defraud. Finally, Madigan’s lawsuit asks the court to order the defendants to pay restitution to consumers and to pay all costs for the prosecution and investigation of this case.

Assistant Attorney General Janice Parker is handling the case for Madigan’s Consumer Protection Division.

Consumers who believe they have been the victim of a home repair scam or any other consumer fraud can download a complaint form at www.IllinoisAttorneyGeneral.gov/consumers or call the Attorney General’s Consumer Fraud Hotline at one of the following numbers;

Chicago 1-800-386-5438; TTY: 1-800-964-3013

Springfield 1-800-243-0618; TTY: 1-877-844-5461

Carbondale 1-800-243-0607; TTY: 1-877-675-9339

Spanish-language Hotline: 1-866-310-8398

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