Madigan sues storm chaser over alleged fraud

By Bryan Cohen | May 13, 2013

CHICAGO (Legal Newsline) -- Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan filed a lawsuit Thursday against a Chicago area home repair firm that allegedly failed to complete contracted projects and failed to pay its suppliers after severe storms.

Antioch-based Perfect Restorations and company owners Bruce Faber, James Hauser and James Novack allegedly marketed its services to homeowners in need of repairs after severe storms.

The company allegedly required homeowners to make upfront payments of between $4,000 and $41,000 and refused to provide refunds after doing shoddy or incomplete work.

Perfect Restorations also allegedly falsely operated as an insurance adjuster to negotiate damage claims with insurance companies on behalf of homeowners despite not possessing a license to do so.

In some instances, the company allegedly failed to use upfront payments from customers to pay for home repair supplies and suppliers placed liens for thousands of dollars on the customers' homes. The homeowners allegedly had to deal with the upfront payments for incomplete work and pay off the liens.

"Not only did homeowners pay for incomplete and shoddy work, they were forced to make a second payment to remove the lien on their homes for supplies that the company failed to pay off," Madigan said in a statement. "This scheme is among the more flagrant we've seen in my office in recent years."

Homeowners in McHenry, Lake and Cook County filed complaints with the Chicago Better Business Bureau and Madigan's office, allegedly paying at least $276,000 in total for incurred liens and quoted repairs.

The attorney general's lawsuit seeks a permanent ban on the defendants from working in the home repair business in Illinois, a cancellation of any pending contracts with homeowners and restitution for any affected consumers.

The lawsuit also seeks the imposition of civil penalties on the defendants for their alleged violations of the Illinois Consumer Fraud and Deceptive Business Practices Act.

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