Schneiderman says contractor violated court order

Keith Loria Mar. 16, 2011, 2:39am


ROCHESTER, N.Y. (Legal Newsline) - New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman announced on Tuesday that he is seeking to shut down a home improvement contractor for allegedly violating a court order.

Mark Pelow allegedly cheated senior homeowners despite a previous court order against him for similar acts that required him to stop his deceptive actions.

Schneiderman alleges that Pelow attempted to convince homeowners to commit insurance fraud, failed to finish jobs for which he was paid in full, often performed inferior work and failed to honor warranties.

"It's bad enough that Mr. Pelow preyed on elderly homeowners once before, but the fact that he had the audacity to target and deceive the elderly again after already paying a fine, is unconscionable," Schneiderman said. "This unscrupulous home improvement contractor will be held accountable by my office to ensure that no more homeowners are victimized."

Pelow and his brother were sued in 1999 for allegedly defrauding customers by performing unauthorized contracting work beyond the scope of the contract that was agreed to. The brothers allegedly intimidated their clients, most of whom were over 65, into paying the money they claimed they were owed.

A permanent order barring the Pelows from operating a home improvement business in violation of New York consumer protection and home improvement contracting laws was issued, but Mark Pelow was allowed to remain in business. He was ordered to pay $57,000 in restitution for over 20 victimized consumers.

Schneiderman alleges that Pelow, however, continued to overcharge his victims and violated the original agreement.

Pelow faces potential jail time if found in contempt of the prior court ruling.

Schneiderman also seeks a permanent ban against Pelow from working as a home improvement contractor in New York. Additionally, Schneiderman wants Pelow to pay $25,000 in restitution to victims as well as $22,000 in civil penalties and all court costs.

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