Press Release

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

csmith@atg.state.il.us
December 11, 2006

MADIGAN REIGNS IN “TAKE-MONEY-AND-RUN” HOME REPAIR CONTRACTOR

Chicago — Attorney General Lisa Madigan today filed a lawsuit in Cook County Circuit Court alleging that a home repair and remodeling contractor collected payments from consumers and then either failed to commence work, failed to complete the work, or performed work in a shoddy and unworkmanlike manner.

Madigan’s lawsuit names as defendants Best Interiors, Inc., an Illinois corporation located in Chicago, and Sheldon Clar, individually and as President of Best Interiors, Inc, who resides in Northbrook, Illinois. Since 2000, Madigan’s Consumer Fraud Bureau has received 50 complaints against Best Interiors from consumers who have allegedly made payments to the company ranging from $100 to $22,100.

According to Madigan’s lawsuit, one Highland Park, Illinois consumer entered into a contract with Best Interiors to correct a pitch on a roof and resolve problems of standing water, at a total cost of $13,800. Upon completion of the work, the consumer noticed that her ceiling was damaged and water started leaking into the home, causing damage to the wooden foundation. The consumer requested a city inspection of the property. The Highland Park city inspector’s report noted that some of the roof work violated city code and that the roof drain was not properly tied to the city storm sewer. The consumer also learned that Best Interiors was never licensed as a roofing contractor. To correct the damage and redo the shoddy work, Best Interiors demanded additional payment from the consumer. When the consumer refused, Best Interiors declined to correct the damage or shoddy work, and refused to refund the $13,800 paid by the consumer.

In 2006, 16 consumers filed complaints with the Attorney General’s office, all complaining that Best Interiors entered into contracts with them, but never commenced the work and never refunded any payments made by the consumers.

“My office is working to protect Illinois consumers from home repair and remodeling contractors that use underhanded practices to profit, without regard to the Illinois laws in place to protect consumers,” Madigan said.

Madigan’s lawsuit charges Best Interiors and Clar with multiple violations of the Illinois Consumer Fraud and Deceptive Business Practices Act and the Illinois Home Repair and Remodeling Act. In addition to claims that Best Interiors failed to commence work, failed to complete the work in a workmanlike manner and failed to provide refunds, the lawsuit alleges that Best Interiors failed to provide consumers with copies of the “Home Repair: Know Your Consumer Rights” pamphlet.

Madigan’s lawsuit asks the court to prohibit Best Interiors and Clar from engaging in home repair and remodeling and further violating Illinois’ consumer protection laws. The lawsuit seeks penalties and asks the court to order Best Interiors and Clar to pay restitution to consumers and to pay all costs for prosecution and investigation of this case.

Consumers who believe they have been the victim of a home repair scam or another 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

Home repair and remodeling tips are available on Attorney General’s website at www.illinoisattorneygeneral.gov/consumers/homerepair_construction.html.

Assistant Attorney General Junko Minami is handling the case for Madigan’s Consumer Protection Division.

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