Daily Independent (Ashland, KY)

Local News

October 1, 2013

Ohio AG files suit against Carter contractor

IRONTON — The Ohio Attorney General’s Office has filed a lawsuit against a Carter County-based storm-damage repair contractor and its owners for allegedly scamming numerous residents of the Buckeye State out of thousands.

Attorney General Mike DeWine on Monday announced the suit against All Seasons of Kentucky Inc. and husband-and-wife owners Leo Patrick Richard and Carol Richard of Manhattan, Ill.

The suit, filed in the Lawrence County Court of Common Pleas, charges the business and the Richards with multiple violations of Ohio’s Consumer Sales Practices Act and Home Solicitation Sales Act, including failure to deliver, shoddy work and failure to give consumers proper notice of their right to cancel. The suit seeks to stop further violations and to obtain full consumer restitution and civil penalties.

The suit seeks a civil penalty of $25,000 for each separate violation of the CSPA.

 About 35 Ohio consumers reported losing a total of more than $171,000 to the Grayson-based business, according to complaints filed with the attorney general and police.

 “This business targeted homeowners who had storm damage and ripped them off,” DeWine said in a news release. “When a business takes a consumer’s money and does little or nothing in return, we will go after the business and the individuals responsible.”

All Seasons of Kentucky is a storm-damage repair company that operated in Ironton from December 2012 to April of this year, DeWine said. Dozens of consumers complained the business did no work at all, or the work it did was shoddy.

After taking consumers’ money and doing little or no work, records show the owners made personal car payments and yacht club payments from the All Seasons of Kentucky bank account.

DeWine also offered consumers the following home improvement tips:

‰Never hand over an insurance check to a home improvement business.

‰Don’t pay the full amount up front.

‰Get everything in writing, including all work to be performed, verbal promises, cost of materials, cost of labor and completion date.

‰Obtain at least two estimates from different companies.

‰Research a business’ reputation, even if its representative seems professional. Check for complaints on file with an Attorney General’s Office and the Better Business Bureau.

‰Require and contact references of customers.

Claims made in civil lawsuits state only one side of an issue.

KENNETH HART can be reached at khart@dailyindependent.com or (606) 326-2654.

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