Sunday, July 17, 2016

Court Orders Contractor To Cough Up Over $1.1 Million For Running Home Improvement Scam That Screwed Mostly Elderly Homeowners

From the Office of the New Jersey Attorney General:
  • A Superior Court Judge has permanently barred New York-based Leroy N. Brown, an unregistered home improvement contractor who did business as "B&K Masonry & Chimney," from performing home improvement work in New Jersey, and ordered him to pay $1.1 million after finding that he committed 410 violations of the State’s consumer protection laws and regulations, following an action brought by the Attorney General’s Office and the Division of Consumer Affairs.

    The State’s eight-count Verified Complaint, filed last December in State Superior Court in Essex County, alleged that Brown, d/b/a “B&K Masonry & Chimney,” committed multiple violations of the Consumer Fraud Act, the Contractors’ Registration Act, and related regulations by, among other things, misrepresenting himself as a registered contractor and using deceptive sales tactics, including proclamations of imminent health and safety risks, to induce mostly elderly consumers into purchasing expensive chimney repairs that were never completed.

    Brown failed to file a response to the Verified Complaint, resulting in Judge Donald A. Kessler granting the State’s request for entry of a Final Judgment by Default and Order. Among other things, Brown is required to pay the Division a total of $1,123,303 within ten days. That total includes $1,025,000 in civil penalties, $81,646 in reimbursement of the Division’s attorneys’ fees and investigative costs, and $16,657 in restitution to 11 consumers. Further, Brown is permanently barred from advertising, offering for sale, selling and/or performing home improvements in New Jersey, and from managing and/or owning any business in New Jersey.

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