Friday, September 21, 2012
IL AG Charges Local Company In Home Repair Fraud Sweep
Among the five was Lake in the Hills-based National Restoration of Illinois and its president, John Curtis, for allegedly operating as an unlicensed insurance adjuster, negotiating weather-related damages with a homeowner’s insurance company and defrauding homeowners of their insurance checks intended for repair work that the company never completed. Another area company charged was North Point Exteriors Inc. and owner Lateef Farooqui, based in Barrington, for allegedly offering unlicensed insurance adjusting services after storms in the Chicago area.
Madigan said all five companies operated home repair scams, soliciting homeowners for repair work and requiring large, upfront payments to begin the work. But the lawsuits allege the contractors failed to do much work – if any at all – beyond cashing homeowners’ deposits. “In all of these cases, there were red-flag warnings that the contractors were up to no good,” Madigan said. “Any time a repair company solicits door to door or uses high-pressure tactics to sign up customers, it’s a signal that something is wrong."
National Restoration, for example, establsihed only 18 months ago, had 8 complaints against it with the Better Business Bureau when the consumer agency finally pulled its accreditation last month.
Madigan’s lawsuits ask the court to permanently ban the defendants from working in the home repair trade in Illinois, cancel any pending contracts with homeowners and obtain restitution for affected consumers. The lawsuits also seek to impose on the defendants an array of civil penalties for the allegations laid out in each of the complaints.
In the pic: The Illinois Attorney General said a home repair company operating out of this LITH location on Algonquin Road defrauded its customers.