Lisa Madigan (D)

CHICAGO (Legal Newsline) - Two lawsuits have been filed by Attorney General Lisa Madigan against contractors who either failed to complete work or performed their work in a substandard manner.

"Every year, home repair fraud complaints consistently rank among the top complaints that consumers report to my office, typically due to incomplete work or shoddy construction," Madigan said.

Madigan filed lawsuits against Robert Leving, operating a home repair business under the names Right Choice Construction and Elite Construction, and Michael J. Thelen, operator of Thelen Services Inc.

Leving is alleged to have entered into contracts for home remodeling services and accepting down payments from consumers and then either failing to complete the work contracted for or performing the work in a substandard manner.

Leving is also alleged to have failed to provide consumers with written contracts and the "Home Repair: Know Your Consumer Rights" pamphlet as required under Illinois law.

Six complaints were filed against Leving with the attorney general's Consumer Fraud Bureau, alleging that Leving performed work in a shoddy, unprofessional manner, failed to complete repair work and refused to provide refunds to consumers.

Leving's practices are alleged to have violated the Illinois Consumer Fraud and Deceptive Business Practices Act as well as the Illinois Home Repair and Remodeling Act.

Madigan's lawsuit asks the court to prohibit Leving from engaging in the home repair trade in Illinois. The suit also seeks restitution for consumers, a civil penalty of $50,000, additional penalties of $50,000 for each violation committed with the intent to defraud, and $10,000 per violation found to have been committed against a senior citizen.

The lawsuit filed by Madigan against Thelen alleges that he entered into contracts to install new fencing, accepted down payments from consumers and provided an approximate date that work would begin.

Thelen, the suit alleges, would then fail to perform the contracted work or complete it in a shoddy, substandard manner. Thelen, despite consumer requests, would then refuse to refund down payments.

Madigan's lawsuit alleges that Thelen was in violation of the Illinois Consumer Fraud and Deceptive Business Practices Act and the Illinois Home Repair and Remodeling Act through his shoddy work, unprofessional manner, failure to complete repair work and refusal to provide refunds. Thelen is also alleged to have failed to provide homeowners with the required "Home Repair: Know Your Consumer Rights" pamphlet.

The lawsuit asks the court to prohibit Thelen from engaging in the home repair trade in Illinois as well as restitution for consumers, a civil penalty of $50,000, additional penalties of $50,000 for each violation found to have been committed with the intent to defraud and $10,000 per violation committed against a consumers 65 years or older.

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