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N.J. AG Chiesa announces $7.7M judgment

By Bryan Cohen | Oct 23, 2012

NEWARK, N.J. (Legal Newsline) - New Jersey Attorney General Jeffrey Chiesa and the state's Division of Consumer Affairs announced a $7.7 million judgment on Tuesday against multiple home improvement companies and their owner, Jon Kot.

Under the terms of the judgment, Kot and the companies, which include Roofing Police Inc., are permanently barred from performing home improvement work in New Jersey. Kot is permanently barred from owning or managing any New Jersey-based business.

The defendants allegedly contracted or advertised with consumers using multiple trade names, limited liabilities, corporations and unregistered business names, including Diamond Roofing, A Above Brick City, A Above American, A-1 Affordable Construction, A-1 American Siding, A-1 American Gutters, A-1 American Roofing, A-1 American Contracting, A-1 American Chimney Service, A-1 American Masonry Services, A-1 American Masonry, Brick City Chimney & Roofing Services, Chimney Squad, Brick City, Roofing Squad, Roofing Police Inc., Brick City Chimney Service and Cleaning Inc., Brick City Chimney Service LLC, A 1 American Chimney LLC and A-1 American Construction Inc.

The companies used common addresses in Garwood, Maywood, Hackensack and Fair Lawn.

"These defendants allegedly left consumers with shoddy work, broken promises, and warranties that were ignored - often while using business names or language on their websites that implied they had some connection to government or police work," Chiesa said. "We have held them accountable by obtaining a judgment that provides for consumer restitution and civil penalties, and which prohibits them from performing home improvement work, or even owning or managing any business in New Jersey."

Kot and his companies allegedly engaged in 1,542 violations of the state's Advertising Regulations, Home Improvement Regulations, Contractor Registration Regulations, Contractors' Registration Act and Consumer Fraud Act.

Under the terms of the final judgment by default and order, Kot and his companies must collectively pay $7.7 million, including $7.5 million in civil penalties, $150,000 in consumer restitution, $38,000 for state attorney fees and $30,000 for additional costs. The corporate charters of the defendant corporations and companies are now annulled.

The final judgment is against all defendants in the state's complaint except for Gabriel R. DaSilva, Jr. DaSilva settled with the state and was assessed a $30,000 civil penalty that was suspended as long as he complies with the terms of a final consent judgment. DaSilva must obtain state registration as a home improvement contractor to perform home improvement work.

The defendants allegedly released advertisements that wrongfully implied they were affiliated with government, quasi-police agencies or police-affiliated businesses, started work without compulsory local or state permits, failed to honor warranties or guarantees provided in their contracts, failed to return consumer deposits for work that was not performed, refused to repair substandard work despite warranties and/or promises, and performed substandard work.

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