Press Release

For Immediate Release
July 24 , 2008
 
Media Contact: Robyn Ziegler
312-814-3118
rziegler@atg.state.il.us
 

ATTORNEY GENERAL SUES SEVEN ILLINOIS
HOME REPAIR CONTRACTORS

Madigan Reminds Consumers to Make Informed Decisions
During Summer Home Repair Season

Chicago – Attorney General Lisa Madigan today urged consumers to use caution when choosing home repair and remodeling contractors during the summer remodeling season as she announced seven lawsuits filed against home repair businesses around Illinois, alleging they defrauded Illinois consumers of more than $40,000 in down payments by performing substandard work or no work at all.

“Complaints about home repair, remodeling and construction consistently rank among the top consumer complaints that my office receives each year, especially during the summer months,” 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 today.”

Madigan filed two lawsuits in Cook County:

  • Tony Pinzine of Tony Pinzine Construction, a home repair business in Chicago, Ill.
  • Robert Reimer of BRB Construction, a home repair, remodeling and painting business in Chicago

Attorney General Madigan also filed lawsuits against four home repairs business located in five other counties.

Adams County - Clinton E. Robertson of Robertson Tree Service, a New London, Mo. landscaping company.

DuPage County - John P. Mazzio of Paint and Point, Inc., a paint and masonry business in Glendale Heights, Ill.

McHenry County - Thomas Truhlar of Abbey Window Company, a window, door and awning installation business in Algonquin, Ill.

McLean County - Jeff Lovins of Lovins Masonry of Beason, Ill.

Williamson County - Nealy Melvin of Nealy Melvin Construction of Carterville, Ill.

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, the Attorney General 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.” Consumers also can obtain more information on how to guard against home repair fraud 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 Jeffrey Feltman, Louis Gale, Junko Minami, Joshua Orenstein and Elizabeth Phalen are handling these cases for Attorney General Madigan's Consumer Fraud Bureau.

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Note to Media: Electronic versions of the individual complaints are available upon request to the press office.


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