Bryan Cohen May 14, 2013, 5:30pm

RALEIGH, N.C. (Legal Newsline) -- North Carolina Attorney General Roy Cooper on Monday announced a court order against a Charlotte-area company that allegedly took money and orders for heaters but failed to deliver.

Cooper filed a lawsuit against Hydro-Sil, related companies and their principals on May 6, alleging the defendants took orders for thermostats, heaters and other products with no intention of fulfilling the orders.

Wake County Superior Court Judge Paul Ridgeway issued a court order against Hydro-Sil, temporarily halting the defendants from advertising or selling products or services, transferring any assets or destroying any records while the case moves forward.

Also included in the temporary restraining order are Performance Comfort Systems Inc., Santech Industries Inc., Heatech Industries Inc., Frank Sanford III, the president and registered agent of Santech and Heatech, and Christopher Sanford, the purported manager of all of the companies.

"It's frustrating when a business makes promises that turn out to be nothing but hot air, especially when consumers lose their hard-earned money," Cooper said in a statement. "We want to put a stop to this kind of rip off and win consumers' money back."

Hydro-Sil allegedly sold baseboard heaters and other items online, requiring a full advance payment.

In late 2011, the company allegedly had difficulty fulfilling orders and routinely started accepting payment for orders it knew it could not provide. Hydro-Sil allegedly continued to solicit consumers and take money from them until it ceased operations in December.

Cooper's office received 36 complaints against Hydro-Sil, and the Better Business Bureau received 116 complaints.

Consumers alleged they paid the company between $200 and $4,500 for heaters and other products that never arrived.

"Check out a company thoroughly before you pay them any money," the attorney general said. "If a company doesn't deliver items you've ordered as promised, remember that you have the right to cancel for a full refund."

Cooper seeks a permanent ban on the defendants' harmful business practices, refunds for consumers, cancellation of contracts and civil penalties.

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