N.Y. Home Contractor Nailed in Scam Operation

June 20, 2005

New York Attorney General Eliot Spitzer announced that victims of a Monroe County home improvement contracting company will be receiving refunds valued at more than $82,000.

In legal papers filed Monday with Monroe County State Supreme Court, Greece Remodeling Corporation Inc. and its operators, Timothy S. and Emily Haines, were accused of deceptive business practices, fraud, false advertising and violating the State’s Home Improvement Contract Law and Lien Law.

In settling the matter in an agreement that is pending court approval, the Haineses reportedly agreed to pay more than $91,000 including restitution to consumers, civil penalties and costs. The settlement agreement also permanently bans the Haineses from engaging in the home improvement contracting, door-to-door sales, and the sale of customer cabinetry businesses in New York State.

Spitzer’s office has reportedly received at least 26 complaints from consumers against Greece Remodeling, including:

• Taking orders and advance payments from consumers for KraftMaid cabinets during a period when Greece Remodeling’s distributorship had been terminated;
• Failing to deliver and install cabinets purchased by consumers;
• Failing to place orders for cabinets;
• Repeatedly lying to consumers regarding the expected delivery date of cabinets and other building materials;
• Failing to pay sub-contractors for work performed on consumers’ homes resulting in liens being filed against those homes;
• Charging consumers sales tax totalling nearly $4,700 for capital improvements not subject to tax;
• Failing to pay refunds;
• failing to complete home improvement projects; and
• Performing projects in a shoddy and unprofessional manner.

The settlement agreement provides an opportunity for additional consumers to file complaints with the Attorney General’s office and be eligible for restitution. To do so, consumers are directed to call the Attorney General’s consumer help line at (800) 771-7755.

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