Md. A.G.’s Consumer Protection Division Opts for Charges Against Builder

October 5, 2004

Maryland Attorney General J. Joseph Curran, Jr. announced that his Consumer Protection Division has filed charges against a Garrett County home builder who it alleges took deposits and payments from a consumer and failed to complete construction or refund the payments. The Division has suspended its registration pending revocation.

According to the charges, C&S Construction Inc., and its principals William D. Cook and Mark R. Shrout of Oakland, Md., entered into a contract with a consumer to construct a home in Garrett County and accepted advance payments of $23,304. C&S Construction reportedly never completed the home and failed to refund the consumer’s payment.

The Division alleges that C&S Construction Inc., Cook and Shrout violated the Maryland Custom Home Protection Act, the Home Builder Registration Act and the Consumer Protection Act by failing to place or maintain the $23,304 in an escrow account or having a surety bond to cover the deposit and failing to complete the home as promised.

The Division’s charges seek an order barring C&S Construction Inc., Cook and Shrout from acting as a builder in the State of Maryland and requiring them to pay restitution to consumers who have been harmed by their unlawful practices, including the $23,304 collected from the consumer identified in the charges. Also, the Division is seeking a $1,000 civil penalty per day of unlawful practice and the costs of the investigation.

The Division also issued a notice seeking to revoke the home builder registration of C&S Construction Inc. and immediately suspending C&S Construction Inc.’s registration.

A public hearing on the charges will be held at the Consumer Protection Division in Baltimore, on Nov. 1.

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