Bryan Cohen Jul. 15, 2014, 6:25pm

RALEIGH, N.C. (Legal Newsline) - North Carolina Attorney General Roy Cooper announced a lawsuit on Monday against a now-closed Burlington kitchen remodeling company and its owner to resolve allegations they took upfront payments but failed to complete the work.

American Kitchen Corporation and its owners, Robert Selfors and Tyler Justin Sheets, allegedly required consumers to pay advance deposits of as much as $19,000 before beginning kitchen remodeling work. American Kitchen allegedly hired subcontractors to do the remodel work but could not pay the subcontractors to complete existing jobs without recruiting new customers to pay additional advance deposits.

American Kitchen allegedly began to fail when it was no longer able to bring in new customers to pay suppliers and subcontractors. The unpaid suppliers and subcontractors filed liens against several customers' homes. Many of the kitchen remodeling jobs allegedly remain unfinished.

"Businesses that take your money up front have an obligation to get the job done," Cooper said. "Using payments from new customers to finance existing jobs is bad business and not sustainable."

Cooper's Consumer Protection Division received complaints from 38 homeowners who lost allegedly $300,000 to American Kitchen.

The lawsuit seeks to ban American Kitchen and its owners from offering home repair or home improvement services in North Carolina. The suit also seeks consumer restitution for customers who paid for work that was allegedly never completed.

"If you plan to hire a contractor to work on your home, beware of anyone who demands large fees upfront," Cooper said.

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