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December 9, 2009


Springfield — Attorney General Lisa Madigan yesterday filed a lawsuit in Sangamon County Circuit Court alleging that a Springfield-based contractor solicited home improvement services from area homeowners without a license and collected more than $72,000 in fees for work that he failed to perform or completed in a substandard manner.

Madigan's suit alleges that Jeremy L. Sorenson, who operates JSL Construction, entered into contracts for home remodeling services and accepted consumers' down payments but did not deliver as promised. The Attorney General's Consumer Fraud Bureau has received six complaints about Sorenson's work from consumers.

"Each year, we see a significant number of complaints about home repair fraud," Madigan said. "Prosecuting these cases continues to be a high priority for my office, as is raising consumer awareness. I can't stress how important it is that consumers ask the right questions and check references before hiring a contractor to protect themselves from paying thousands of dollars in return for substandard work."

Madigan's lawsuit alleges that Sorenson violated the Illinois Consumer Fraud and Deceptive Business Practices Act and the Illinois Home Repair and Remodeling Act by performing work in a shoddy, unprofessional manner; failing to complete the repair work; and refusing to provide refunds to consumers. The complaint also alleges that Sorenson failed to provide homeowners with written contracts and the "Home Repair: Know Your Consumer Rights" pamphlet, as required under Illinois law.

In the suit, Madigan asks the court to prohibit Sorenson from engaging in the home repair trade in Illinois. Madigan's suit also seeks 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, as well as $10,000 per violation found to have been committed against a senior 65 years or older. The lawsuit also asks the court to require Sorenson to pay the costs of the investigation and prosecution of the case.

Assistant Attorney General Melodi Green is handling the case for Madigan's Consumer Fraud Bureau.

Consumers who believe they have been the victim of a home repair scam or any other consumer fraud can download a complaint form at or call the Attorney General's Consumer Fraud Hotline at one of the following numbers:

Chicago 1-800-386-5438
Springfield 1-800-243-0618
Carbondale 1-800-243-0607
Spanish-language Hotline: 1-866-310-8398


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