New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman has taken legal action against a Rochester-area construction company owner for withholding customer refunds. Rochester Business Journal reports that Brian Robinson, owner of Apex Construction, owes 34 former customers a total of $24,000.
Now, he owes a lot more.
According to RBJ, Robinson required customers to pay for the job beforehand, either partially or in full. He would then complete projects poorly or not complete them at all. When the customers complained, he would promise refunds and then not follow through.
Unfortunately, this type of behavior is extremely common among sketchy home contractors. Whether the builder is incompetent or sinister, homeowners end up suffering.
“New Yorkers who spend their hard-earned money to hire a contractor deserve to have the work fully completed and handled with care—not tricked into paying for services they will never receive,” Schneiderman said, in a statement from the Attorney General’s office, according to RBJ. “My office won’t hesitate to take action against crooked contractors and ensure that New Yorkers are protected from fraud.”
Construction crews are supposed to work with high quality materials, which are generally included in the price of the job. For example, the four most common metals used in construction are carbon steel, stainless steel, aluminium, and copper. But the best materials are useless when the job is performed poorly.
For his poor jobs and neglect to follow through, Robinson will need to pay a $175,000 penatly if found guilty, according to 13 WHAM. In addition to a monetary penalty, the Attorney General is also making moves to file a permanent injunction against Robinson. This means that he would no longer be able to run a home improvement business in New York state if he loses this legal battle. 13 WHAM reports that he would be able to avoid this injunction by paying a $100,000 bond on top of the initial fine.
Robinson is set to appear in court on Wednesday, September 20, according to RBJ. He will appear in front of New York Supreme Court Justice Ann Marie Taddeo.
13 WHAM also reports that any Rochester resident who wants to file a claim regarding issues with a home improvement contractor can call the Attorney General’s Consumer Help Line at (800)-771-7755.