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February 1, 2017

MADIGAN: COOK COUNTY MAN PLEADS GUILTY TO CRIMINAL CONTEMPT

Chicago — Attorney General Lisa Madigan today announced a Cook County man pleaded guilty to charges that he violated a 2003 consent decree that prohibited him from performing plumbing work in Illinois.

Joel Ullmer, 48, of Norridge, Ill. pleaded guilty in DuPage County Circuit Court to indirect criminal contempt and was sentenced to two years in prison for performing unlicensed plumbing work by collecting over $23,000 from consumers for plumbing service. In 2003, a DuPage County judge barred Ullmer from working as a plumber without first obtaining a state-required license and following additional state regulations. In 2008, Ullmer was found be in violation of the consent order and ordered to pay restitution.

Under the terms of the 2003 order, Ullmer is prohibited from performing plumbing work without being licensed through the state and the city of Chicago. Since then, Ullmer knowingly entered into contracts and accepted $23,404 in payments from seven consumers despite still not holding the required license.

Madigan also alleged that after accepting payments, Ullmer either did not perform any work or began projects but left them largely incomplete. Ullmer also failed to provide homeowners with information about their consumer rights, including their right to cancel contracts within three days. In most cases, Ullmer failed to return down payments and money despite not completing the work.

“The defendant has continued to take money from consumers for plumbing work despite a court order banning him from operating without a license,” Madigan said.

Assistant Attorneys General Jacob Gilbert, Maryanne Mlikotic and Janice Parker handled the case for Madigan’s Consumer Fraud Bureau.

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