BALTIMORE (Legal Newsline) - Maryland Attorney General Douglas Gansler announced a cease and desist order on Wednesday requiring two tree service operators to pay restitution and to stop selling landscaping services unless they obtain a license.
Gansler's Consumer Protection Division issued the order against Walter Lee Bandy, Jr. -- doing business as TLC Lawn Care & Landscaping, TLC Tree Removal, TLC Tree Service and Destiny's Chance Tree Service -- and Jason Conley, who co-owned and operated Destiny's Chance Tree Service with Bandy.
Bandy and Conley allegedly collected payment from consumers for tree removal and other landscaping services that they either never completed or, in some cases, never commenced, all without the required license.
"These landscapers will not be able to take advantage of consumers any longer," Gansler said. "Consumers should be able to get the services they paid for."
The CPD alleged that Bandy and Conley violated the Maryland Consumer Protection Act by selling tree removal and other landscaping services that they did not provide and by failing to refund customers' payments.
The cease and desist order immediately bars Bandy and Conley from selling tree removal and other landscaping services in Maryland unless they provide the division with a $20,000 surety bond or other security.
In addition, the order prohibits Bandy and Conley from identifying themselves as tree experts unless they obtain the required license. The division also ordered Bandy and Conley to return all the money they took from consumers for services they did not provide. The division alleged that at least 17 consumers are owned at least $19,908.04.
Bandy and Conley have 30 days to request a hearing to challenge the division's order.