Mo. AG alleges scam against Joplin tornado victims

Bryan Cohen Feb. 3, 2012, 11:14am


JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (Legal Newsline) - Missouri Attorney General Chris Koster filed a lawsuit on Thursday against a Reeds Spring-based contractor and his construction company in Branson West for allegedly failing to provide goods and home repair services.

E. Brian Sides and his company, ABP Quality Construction, allegedly neglected to provide services paid for by tornado victims in Joplin. The lawsuit alleges that after homeowners paid Sides and ABP Quality Construction tens of thousands of dollars for items like appliances, cabinets and tile, the defendants ceased their work on the victims' homes without completing the projects. In addition, the defendants allegedly failed to deliver appliances and supplies for which the victims had already paid.

The alleged conduct by the defendants forced the victims to purchase the items elsewhere at an additional cost.

"Unfortunately, there are always those who will take advantage of unsuspecting consumers during times of tragedy," Koster said. "I want to assure consumers that this office will never stop pursuing those who engage in this illegal behavior."

Koster is seeking a restraining order that would require Sides to stop operating a construction business and to provide customers who were damaged with restitution. The lawsuit also seeks to impose civil penalties of $1,000 per violation and to require that the defendants pay for all court and prosecution costs.

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