Ohio AG Nails Contractor on Fraud Scam Charges

February 9, 2005

Ohio Attorney General Jim Petro has distributed checks of more than $80,000 to 14 consumers who lost money after reportedly hiring William Williams to do home-improvement work.

William Williams “Unscrupulous home-improvement contractors need to know that the state will not tolerate ripping off consumers, ignoring court orders and hiding assets to avoid reimbursing victims,” said Petro. “I will continue to enforce Ohio laws in order to protect consumers’ hard-earned money.”

In early 2003, the Franklin County Common Pleas Court ordered Williams to pay $280,684 in consumer restitution and civil penalties for violations of Ohio’s Consumer Sales Practices Act. When Williams reportedly refused to obey this order, Petro’s Consumer Protection Section took an unprecedented post-judgment action and pursued his assets directly in an effort to collect on the consumer loss of more than $200,000.

The Consumer Protection Section sold some of Williams’ assets at a court-appointed auction and raised more than $80,000. Because the proceeds from the auction were insufficient to fully compensate consumers and pay the civil penalty, the Attorney General determined that the victims of Williams’ fraud would share the recovered funds. Because Williams still reportedly owes more than $200,000, the Attorney General’s Collections Enforcement Section will attempt to recover the balance.

There are currently two criminal indictments against Williams, in Licking and Delaware counties, for similar conduct. Williams also is under indictment in Wisconsin for theft. Williams is restricted from conducting any consumer transactions in Ohio until he has paid the judgment in full.

Was this article valuable?

Here are more articles you may enjoy.