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March 22, 2011

AG MADIGAN: PEORIA-AREA MAN SENTENCED FOR HOME REPAIR FRAUD, MUST REFUND OVER $100,000 TO LOCAL CONSUMERS

Chicago — Attorney General Lisa Madigan announced today a Peoria-area man was sentenced to one and a half years in jail with six months probation and ordered to pay more than $100,000 in restitution to consumers for scamming them out of thousands of dollars in home repair work he never completed.

Madigan said Michael G. Gray, 43, of Creve Coeur, pled guilty to three counts of home repair fraud, Class A misdemeanors, and was sentenced Friday in Peoria County Circuit Court. Gray was also ordered to pay $106,110 to 32 residents of 10 Illinois counties and one Iowa resident for work he charged them but in many cases never even began.

“Home repair fraud is a problem that affects thousands of Illinoisans every year. This case should serve as a reminder that my office is committed to targeting scam artists who prey on unsuspecting homeowners to make a quick profit,” Attorney General Madigan said.

Madigan said Gray operated the now-dissolved Illini Siding and Windows in Creve Coeur in 2005 and 2006, soliciting consumers to replace their windows, install fences and other repair work. Consumers reported to the Attorney General’s Office and other authorities that Gray typically charged upwards of 50 percent of the repair cost upfront.

Assisting the Attorney General’s Office in its investigation were the Bartonville Police Department, state’s attorney’s offices in Bureau, Peoria and Tazewell counties, the Peoria County Sheriff’s Department and the Illinois State Police.

Attorney General Madigan urged homeowners to learn tips for finding a reputable contractor on her website, www.illinoisattorneygeneral.gov, or by calling her Consumer Fraud Hotline:

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

West Central Regional Office Director Brett Irving and Assistant Attorney General Avonne Seals handled the case for Madigan’s Office.

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