Bryan Cohen Dec. 3, 2012, 6:43pm

BALTIMORE (Legal Newsline) - Maryland Attorney General Douglas Gansler announced a cease and desist order on Thursday against two unlicensed home improvement contractors who allegedly took money from consumers and failed to perform the contracted services.

Christopher Manion and Albert Styles allegedly sold and provided home improvement services without compulsory home improvement licenses and collected significant payments for services they failed to deliver. Manion and Styles allegedly took payments totaling $420,303.88 from nine consumers for services that were not performed.

"Especially in these financially challenging times, the last thing consumers should have to worry about is whether the home improvement contractors they hire are misrepresenting their credentials or taking their hard-earned money," Gansler said. "Marylanders looking to hire contractors should always do their homework and ensure that the company or individual in question is properly licensed and has a good reputation."

Maryland's home improvement laws require that contractors possess licenses to sell and perform home improvement services. Manion and Styles, who operated under the names Built-Tite Construction LLC, D&M Construction LLC, Comfortable Construction and others, held neither of the licenses.

The order issued by Gansler's office requires that Manion and Styles reimburse the nine known consumer victims, reimburse any other consumers who paid for services that were not performed, and cease and desist from selling and offering home improvement services unless they obtain the necessary licenses and post a $200,000 bond or cash security with the Consumer Protection Division to protect consumers.

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