Schneiderman announces $40,000 penalty against G.C. Environmental

By Bryan Cohen | Nov 1, 2013

NEW YORK (Legal Newsline) -- New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman announced Thursday a $40,000 penalty against a Bay Shore, Long Island-based company that allegedly used deceptive practices to obtain business from Hurricane Sandy victims.

G.C. Environmental Inc. allegedly mailed 2,300 letters that closely resembled notices of violation from the state Department of Environmental Conservation to property owners who suffered petroleum spills after Hurricane Sandy.

Schneiderman alleged the letters created the impression the DEC was contemplating a fine or penalty against the recipient, and promoted and offered GC's services in cleaning up spills to avoid penalties.

"It's unconscionable that a company would try to drum up business by preying on the misfortune and fears of victims of Sandy," the attorney general said in a statement. "G.C. Environmental's actions were not only unscrupulous, they were illegal.

"My office is here to stop this kind of malfeasance and will hold this and any other company accountable for illegal actions."

Under the terms of an assurance of discontinuance, GC must pay a $40,000 penalty to the state and commit to providing a refund to any property owners found to be deceived by the solicitation.

Schneiderman's office found no evidence that any recipient of a solicitation letter actually hired GC to conduct oil spill cleanup services.

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