SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (Legal Newsline) - Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan announced a lawsuit on Tuesday against a Springfield, Ill., man for allegedly charging for landscaping services he failed to provide.
Madigan's suit, filed in Sangamon county circuit court, names John Wease of Auburn, Ill. Wease allegedly went door-to-door in Sangamon county, defrauding consumers out of at least $8,545 for contracted lawn care work.
"A contractor who goes door-to-door soliciting business should be an automatic warning sign for consumers," Madigan said. "It's 'buyer beware' in these situations. Consumers need to be extra careful. Be sure to ask for references and insist on written estimates before deciding whether to hire a contractor."
Since at least January 2010, Wease allegedly offered consumers a free quote before requiring an upfront sum for the services. Madigan alleges Wease rarely completed any landscaping work - at times not even starting the work - and never issued refunds to affected homeowners.
Madigan is asking that the court prohibit Wease from working in the home repair business, and that it require Wease to pay refunds to consumers and to void pending contracts. The lawsuit seeks to impose a civil penalty of $50,000, additional penalties of $50,000 if the defendant acted with the intent to defraud and a penalty of $10,000 for violations against any persons 65 years of age or older.