Press Release

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

csmith@atg.state.il.us
December 28, 2006

MADIGAN SUES WAYNE COUNTY HOME REPAIR CONTRACTORS

Chicago – Attorney General Lisa Madigan today filed a lawsuit in Wayne County Circuit Court against Fairfield roofing contractors who collected down payments from consumers but either failed to perform the work or failed to complete the work in a professional manner.

Madigan filed the lawsuit against Roger Konieczny and Joseph Brown, doing business as Diamond Construction, Inc., and Theresa Vandgraft, doing business as Wayne County Construction. According to the complaint, the three defendants created Wayne County Construction as nothing more than a name change from Diamond Construction. Both companies operated out of Fairfield.

Since April of this year, Madigan’s Consumer Fraud Bureau has received four consumer complaints concerning the defendants and their companies. As an example of the complaints, the defendants allegedly entered into a contract with one Illinois consumer to re-roof the consumer’s home at a cost of more than $3,000. The defendants received a down payment of $500 but later returned to the consumer’s home and requested an additional $1,300 payment to be used to purchase materials.

Madigan’s complaint alleges that the consumer paid the defendants the additional money with the understanding that it would be used only to pay for needed materials. The consumer became worried when the defendants did not return to begin the work. The consumer later sent a certified letter to the defendants demanding the return of the down payment and the additional payment. According to the lawsuit, the defendants never performed the promised work on the consumer’s residence and refused to refund the consumer’s money.

“Unfortunately, we receive many calls from consumers who have encountered unscrupulous contractors,” Madigan said. “Through lawsuits like this, we are working to protect Illinois consumers from contractors who take the money, but fail to perform the work or are unprofessional in the work they do perform,” Madigan said.

Madigan’s complaint charges the defendants with multiple violations of the Illinois Consumer Fraud and Deceptive Business Practices Act and the Illinois Home Repair and Remodeling Act. Specifically, the complaint alleges that the defendants:

  • collected payments from consumers and then either failed to begin the home repair work or failed to complete it;
  • failed to perform work in a competent and professional manner;
  • solicited roof repair business without first obtaining the roofer’s license required by Illinois law;
  • changed the name of the business without informing consumers who still had unfinished contracts under the old business name; and
  • failed to register the names Diamond Construction, Inc. and Wayne County Construction with the Illinois Secretary of State or county clerks as required by law.

In the complaint, Madigan asks the court to prohibit the defendants from engaging in home repair and from further violating Illinois’ consumer protections laws. The complaint seeks a civil penalty of $50,000 and additional penalties of $50,000 for each violation found to have been committed with intent to defraud. Finally, the complaint 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 Jeffrey Feltman is handling the case for Madigan’s Consumer Fraud Bureau

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