Press Release
For Immediate Release
December 19, 2007
 
Contact: Robyn Ziegler
312-814-3118
rziegler@atg.state.il.us
 

MADIGAN SUES NINE ILLINOIS BUSINESSES FOR ALLEGED HOME REPAIR FRAUD

Reminds Consumers to Make Informed Decisions When Choosing Contractors

Chicago - Attorney General Lisa Madigan filed lawsuits this week against nine separate home repair businesses operating around the state, alleging that they defrauded Illinois consumers of more than $625,453 in down payments by performing substandard work or no work at all. In filing the suits, Attorney General Madigan today reminded consumers to be careful when choosing home repair and remodeling contractors.

“Home repair and remodeling complaints consistently rank near the top of the types of consumer complaints that we receive each year, with 16,268 complaints submitted since 2002,” said Attorney General Madigan. “Consumers need to make sure they are informed and ask the right questions before choosing a contractor so that they can avoid falling victim to the types of companies we have sued this week.”

Madigan's office filed the lawsuits in Cook, Lake and Sangamon Counties. In Cook County, Madigan sued the five following defendants:

  • Affordable Sunrooms Inc. and Ace K. Tilson, President of Affordable Sunrooms Inc., located in Lake Villa, Illinois.

  • Aquaharmony, Inc., doing business as Aqua Harmony Pool & Spa Company, Aqua Harmony Pool & Spa Professionals and Aqua Harmony Pool & Spa; and De London Hawthorne, President of Aquaharmony, Inc., of Forest Park, Illinois.

  • Northstar Basements, Inc., Symphony Builders, Inc. and Robert J. Sam, Jr., President of Northstar Basements, Inc. and Symphony Builders, Inc., all of Orland Park, Illinois

  • Sandy Miller, doing business as S & M Construction of Chicago, Illinois.

  • Nu-Urban Home Remodeling and Development, Inc. of Chicago and Karl D. Ivy, President of Nu-Urban, of Oak Park, Illinois.

  • John Tomas doing business as Affordable Roofing & Exteriors, Inc., Steger, Illinois.

In Lake County, Madigan filed suit against:

  • For My Garage, Inc. and Jeffery J. Maki, President of For My Garage, Inc., of Wauconda, Illinois

Madigan filed two suits in Sangamon County against:

  • James E. Vaughn doing business as James Vaughn Restoration, Springfield, Illinois.

  • TMH Construction, Inc.; Creative Landscapes, Inc., doing business as Illinois Gutter Protection; and Bill Holmberg, President of TMH Construction, Inc. and a corporate officer of Creative Landscapes, Inc., all of Loami, Illinois.

The complaints allege that the defendants violated the Consumer Fraud and Deceptive Business Practices Act and the Home Repair and Remodeling Act by accepting thousands of dollars in down payments from consumers, but performing substandard or incomplete work or, in some cases, no work at all.

In each suit, Madigan's office is seeking a permanent injunction preventing the defendants from engaging in the home repair trade, restitution to consumers, a civil penalty of $50,000 per defendant, additional penalties of $50,000 for each act committed with intent to defraud and an additional $10,000 for each act committed against a senior citizen, and costs.

Madigan reminded consumers that the best way to avoid home repair fraud is to request and then check references provided by contractors or deal only with companies and individuals who have done work for friends or neighbors. Consumers can find home repair and remodeling tips and other information on Madigan's Web site by going to www.illinoisattorneygeneral.gov and clicking on "Consumer.” Consumer also can obtain more information on how to guard against home repair fraud can be obtained by calling the Attorney General's Consumer Fraud Hotline at the following numbers:

Chicago 1-800-386-5438
Springfield 1-800-243-0618
Carbondale 1-800-243-0607

Assistant Attorneys General Sarah Alipourian, Jennifer Franklin, Louis Gale, Ryan Lipinski, Kimberly Slider and Katrina Wanzer are handling these cases for Attorney General Madigan's Consumer Fraud Bureau.

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