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Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan
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October 8, 2010

ATTORNEY GENERAL MADIGAN SUES CENTRAL ILLINOIS HOME REPAIR CONTRACTOR

Springfield — Attorney General Lisa Madigan today filed a lawsuit in Sangamon County against a home repair contractor for charging consumers for repairs that weren’t completed or never even started despite payments for the work, a violation of the Illinois Consumer Fraud Act.

Attorney General Madigan’s complaint alleges Joshua Benton, doing business as Fabulous Finishes and Summit Remodeling, failed to provide contracted home repairs after accepting consumers’ payments for the work. The suit alleges Benton, of Virden, unlawfully took at least $2,500 from consumers in Sangamon County and the central Illinois region.

“The defendant cheated consumers for years by claiming he could repair their homes but often never delivering on his promise,” Madigan said. “Consumers should choose their contractors wisely to avoid the type of fraud perpetrated by the company we sued today.”

Madigan’s complaint alleges that since 2006, Benton provided free consultations and estimates for home repairs but then required up-front, partial payments for the services under a guise of buying needed materials. In reality, the suit alleges, Benton pocketed the payments without returning to complete the repairs, after which consumers were unable to reach him. In some cases, Benton returned to the home to complete only part of the services.

The Attorney General is asking the court to permanently enjoin the defendant from engaging in the business of selling home repairs. Madigan is also seeking to have the defendant pay restitution to consumers, a civil penalty of $50,000 for each violation of the act, additional penalties of $10,000 for each violation committed against a consumer 65 years or older and pay all prosecution costs.

Assistant Attorney General Philip Heimlich is handling the case for Madigan’s Consumer Fraud Bureau.

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