N.Y. Home Improvement Contractor Cited for Fraud

August 2, 2004

New York Attorney General Eliot Spitzer praised a court order issued by an Oneida County judge against a home improvement contractor who repeatedly and persistently defrauded consumers.

Justice Norman Siegel of State Supreme Court in Oneida County granted all relief sought by Spitzer’s office against Daniel G. Bragg of Vernon Center, who does business as Daniel G. Bragg Home Improvement Contracting, Dan’s Home Improvements and All Phaze Inc.

Specifically, the court ordered Bragg to pay full monetary restitution to all injured consumers, including at least $16,000 to nine individuals who have filed complaints with the Attorney General’s office. In addition, the court ordered Bragg to pay over $16,000 in civil penalties for his numerous violations of the law.

Justice Siegal’s order also bars Bragg from operating as a home improvement contractor unless he posts a $50,000 bond to guarantee his performance of any future work for which he is retained by consumers.

Last April, Spitzer’s office filed a lawsuit against Bragg and his various home repair businesses alleging that he engaged in fraud and deceptive practices. In addition, it was alleged that Bragg failed to comply with state consumer protection laws that require home improvement contracts to be in writing with a three-day right to cancel and consumer deposits to be held in separate escrow accounts.

Spitzer filed suit after consumers contacted his office reportedly complaining that they paid significant advance deposits for work that was never done. Others indicated that some work or materials were provided, but the project was never completed or the work was shoddy. All reportedly said that Bragg avoided their repeated attempts to contact him to reschedule appointments or obtain refunds.

The court order allows consumers who file bona fide complaints with the Attorney General’s office within 180 days to be eligible for restitution. Individuals with a complaint should contact the Attorney General’s consumer help line at (800) 771-7755.

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