NEWARK, N.J. (Legal Newsline) -- New Jersey Acting Attorney General John Hoffman announced Thursday a $315,000 settlement with the owners of five home improvement contracting companies to resolve allegations of shoddy work and deceptive practices.

AAA Reliable Inc., Old Reliable Construction LLC, A Safeway Construction Inc., A Safeway Construction LLC, A Safeway Improvements Inc. and their owners, Sulejman Lita and Liman Lita, allegedly engaged in bait-and-switch and/or high-pressure sales tactics, substituted products or materials without the consumer's knowledge or consent and caused damage to consumers' homes, requiring a more extensive and pricy home improvement project.

Under the terms of a final consent judgment, the defendants must pay restitution to 86 eligible consumers and their five companies will be permanently shut down.

"We alleged these defendants used coupons offering free inspections and low-priced services to gain access to homes, where workers damaged chimneys, roofs or gutters to coerce consumers into paying for expensive repairs," Hoffman said in a statement. "We also alleged that senior citizens, many of whom were on fixed incomes, specifically were targeted, making the conduct of these defendants even more reprehensible.

"This settlement returns money to those were victimized by the Litas and their companies."

As part of the settlement, Sulejman Lita must pay $315,000 in total, $150,000 of which will be used for restitution. Sulejman Lita is barred for three years from selling, advertising and performing home improvements in the state of New Jersey. Sulejman also is barred for three years from operating, managing or owning any business requiring registration or licensing by the Division of Consumer Affairs.

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