Bryan Cohen Aug. 4, 2014, 12:21pm

ROCHESTER, N.Y. (Legal Newsline) - New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman announced a lawsuit on Thursday against a Rochester-based home improvement contractor who allegedly defrauded consumers by taking upfront payments and failing to properly complete projects.

Ismail Cakir, the president of Metropolitan Granite & Marble LLC, allegedly defrauded consumers in Syracuse, Rochester and Buffalo by receiving partial or full payments for home improvement projects and either performing shoddy work or failing to complete the projects at all. At least 13 complainants sought and received small claims judgments against Metropolitan, while other complainants were told the business had been dissolved in 2011.

Cakir allegedly registered his business under another name and resumed operations without paying the promised refunds. Schneiderman alleged that none of the 13 consumers who sought and were awarded relief in small claims courts received payment from Cakir. Failure to pay a small claims judgment is a violation of the Uniform City Court Act.

“Making home improvements is often a costly and stressful experience for many New Yorkers trying to invest in their homes,” Schneiderman said. “Unscrupulous contractors who take advantage of working families by performing shoddy work or failing to perform work at all will be held accountable.”

Schneiderman's lawsuit seeks a permanent injunction against Cakir that would bar him from operating a home improvement business in New York. The suit also seeks $10,641 in restitution for defrauded consumers, $117,000 in penalties and costs, and $32,200 in allegedly unpaid small claims judgments for consumers.

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