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Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan
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October 21, 2010

ATTORNEY GENERAL LISA MADIGAN FILES SUIT AGAINST CHICAGO-AREA CONTRACTOR

Injunction Seeks to Shutter Home Repair Companies, Impose Fines

Chicago — Attorney General Lisa Madigan has filed a lawsuit in Cook County Circuit Court against two home repair companies and their owners alleging repeated instances of defrauding customers in violation of the state’s consumer fraud and home repair laws. Along with the suit, Madigan filed an injunction against the businesses to halt their solicitation of area homeowners for repair work.

Madigan’s lawsuit charges Ex-Treme Con-Crete Design Inc. and Excellent Concrete Concept Inc. with violations of the Illinois Consumer Fraud Act and Home Repair Fraud Act. Also named as defendants were Thomas Ratz, of St. Charles, the companies’ head; Regeina Taylor, of North Aurora, director of Ex-Treme Con-Crete; and Geneva Saunders, of St. Charles, president and director of Excellent Concrete.

The Attorney General’s suit alleges the defendants unlawfully took more than $151,000 from consumers. From January 2008 to the present, the complaint states, the businesses accepted down payments for work that was never completed as promised or never done at all. The Attorney General’s Office received nearly a dozen complaints against these repair companies before filing the action.

In some instances, work was not compliant to the city code or the defendants failed to seek the appropriate permitting. Some repairs quickly crumbled and washed away after installation. Other homeowners reported the companies caused damage to their properties or their neighbor’s property. The suit also alleges the companies fraudulently claimed to be accredited members of the Better Business Bureau.

“These companies and their executives have repeatedly deceived homeowners to make a quick buck – whether performing shoddy work or never completing the promised repairs,” Madigan said. “Home repair fraud consistently ranks among the top scams consumers report to my office each year. Homeowners must be aware and protect themselves by choosing their contractors wisely.”

Madigan is asking the court to prohibit the defendants from engaging in the home repair trade in Illinois. The suit also seeks restitution from the defendants for consumers, a civil penalty of $50,000, additional penalties of $50,000 for each violation found to have been committed with the intent to defraud, as well as $10,000 per violation found to have been committed against a senior 65 years or older. The lawsuit also asks the court to require the defendants to pay the costs of the investigation and prosecution of the case.

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 "Protecting Consumers.” 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 Katrina Wanzer Derhake and E. Paige Boggs are handling the case for Madigan’s Consumer Fraud Bureau.

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