.

Attorney General: LITH Business Accused of Fraud in Home Repair Scam

Attorney General Lisa Madigan's office filed lawsuits against businesses and individuals accused of defrauding a total of $365,000 from consumers.

The state attorney general's office has filled lawsuits against five home repair businesses, including one in Lake in the Hills, for defrauding homeowners out of $365,000, according to a press release. 

National Restoration of Illinois— a Lake in the Hills-based business—and its president, John Curtis, are accused of operating as an unlicensed insurance adjuster, negotiating weather-related damages with a homeowner’s insurance company, according to a press release from attorney general Lisa Madigan's office.

The lawsuit also alleges Northern Restoration and Curtis defrauded homeowners of their insurance checks, which were intended for repair work that the company never completed, according to the news release. 

Other lawsuits were filed against: 

  • Gulli Construction and owner Dominic Gulli, based in Chicago, for soliciting homeowners door to door for roofing and other repair work though not licenses. Gulli disappeared for weeks after contracting work with homeowners.
  • North Point Exteriors Inc. and owner Lateef Farooqui, based in Barrington, is is accused of offering unlicensed insurance adjusting services after storms in Chicago area communities. The company operated as “storm chasers,” soliciting consumers door to door who never saw repairs complete. 
  • Tropical Home Improvement Inc. and President Herberth Pulgarin, based in Addison, for accusations that the company pursued consumers for payment after performing no work and for offering unlicensed public adjusting services.
  • Randy Oaks & Sons Asphalt Paving and Seal Coating, Randy Oaks Sr. and Randy Oaks Jr., based in Urbana: for allegedly soliciting older citizens door to door for asphalt work. After consumers paid the contractors for the work, the defendants demanded additional payments of thousands of dollars more under the threat of verbal and physical intimidation in order to complete the contracted work.

“In all of these cases, there were red-flag warnings that the contractors were up to no good,” said Madigan in a press release. “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. I urge homeowners to use extreme caution when hiring contractors. Do your homework and ask plenty of questions before signing anything.”

Madigan also reminded consumers in the news release that the Illinois Home Repair and Remodeling Act requires contractors to furnish customers with written contracts for any repair or remodeling work costing more than $1,000.

A contract must be signed by both the customer and the contractor. The law also requires contractors to carry at least minimum amounts of insurance for property damage, bodily injury and improper home repair.

Contractors also must provide consumers with an informational pamphlet entitled “Home Repair: Know Your Consumer Rights.”

Homeowners are urged to contact the state attorney general's Consumer Fraud Hotline at (800) 386-5438 to report a home repair scheme or to learn tips for finding a reputable contractor.

jeff September 22, 2012 at 02:10 AM
Thats Illinois for ya! Keep up the scams and keep us #1!!
Anthony P. September 23, 2012 at 03:06 PM
Greed. These guys are no different than those dirty politicians.
NCPHIF September 24, 2012 at 04:56 PM
As a nonprofit, it is our mission to educate homeowners on how to avoid becoming victims of contractor scams. Before you begin a home repair or home improvement project, please visit preventcontractorfraud.org for FREE and valuable information on how to deal with contractors. Don't become a victim!! 

Boards

More »
Got a question? Something on your mind? Talk to your community, directly.
Note Article
Just a short thought to get the word out quickly about anything in your neighborhood.
Share something with your neighbors.What's on your mind?What's on your mind?Make an announcement, speak your mind, or sell somethingPost something
See more »