Madigan sues air duct cleaner

Nick Rees Jan. 27, 2011, 3:24am


CHICAGO (Legal Newsline) - Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan has filed a lawsuit against a Chicago-area air duct and vent cleaning company that allegedly failed to complete work it solicited.

The lawsuit against Moshe Kesem and his two business entities, Warranty USA Inc. and Air Duct Cleaning Pros, both based in Schaumburg, also alleges that Kesem, since November 2009, fraudulently charged consumers for expensive mitigation of mold and mildew damage that did not exist in the consumers' homes.

Kesem allegedly showed fake pictures to consumers of extensive mold or mildew damage in their homes in a scheme to charge them for clean-up and other services.

Additionally, consumers who contracted with Kesem for work at advertised discounts allegedly were later charged for additional services that they had not approved. Kesem also allegedly regularly added fraudulent services that were not needed to address fictional problems, adding as much as $1,000 to his bill.

"This company targeted vulnerable seniors and deceived homeowners into purchasing services they didn't need," Madigan said. "Consumers should know illegitimate contractors are always scamming people out of their hard-earned money. So homeowners need to investigate contractors before signing contracts and beginning projects. Never get pressured to rush into a contract."

Kesem is alleged to have violated Illinois' Consumer Fraud and Deceptive Business Practices Act and the Home Repair and Remodeling Act. Madigan is asking the court to prohibit Kesem from working in the home repair trade in Illinois.

Madigan's suit also seeks to cancel Kesem's pending contracts and to obtain restitution for affected consumers. Additionally, the suit seeks a civil penalty for Kesem of $50,000, penalties of up to $50,000 for each violation committed with the intent to defraud, and penalties of $10,000 for each violation committed against a person 65 years of age or older.

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