AG Dave Yost Targets Deceitful Home-Improvement Contractors

Reinforcing his pledge to hold unscrupulous business owners accountable, Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost filed six consumer-protection lawsuits in five counties against businesses accused of ripping off Ohioans who wanted to make home improvements.

The legal actions coincide with National Consumer Protection Week – being observed March 3-9 this year — a nationwide initiative to arm consumers with information about their rights and resources to help them make informed financial decisions.

“This week and every week, deceptive and illegal business practices — especially those that hit consumers hard in the pocketbook — will not escape our attention,” Yost said. “We’re dedicated to protecting Ohioans and their hard-earned money year-round.”

All six lawsuits allege violations of the Ohio Consumer Sales Practices Act and request that the defendants reimburse consumers and pay civil penalties and court costs. Likewise, the state requests that all defendants be prohibited from engaging in any consumer transactions in Ohio until their judgments are paid.

Cuyahoga County

  • A home-improvement contractor and his company are accused of not delivering goods and services to consumers and performing shoddy work that did more damage than good.
    Yost’s lawsuit, filed in Cuyahoga County Common Pleas Court, names Charles Jones of Blacklick and his Columbus-based business, Veritas Home Refinishing.
    Several consumers for whom Jones provided some work needed to have the work finished or redone by different contractors, the lawsuit says. The consumers maintain that the damages exceed $200,000. 

Franklin County

  • The owner of a high-end home design and remodeling company based in Columbus allegedly accepted substantial amounts from consumers for home-improvement projects but did not complete the projects, did shoddy work and/or left debris and materials on property.
    Yost’s lawsuit, filed in Franklin County Common Pleas Court, names Delaware resident Josh Powers and the business known as Josh Powers Design and Remodel.
    According to complaints filed with the Attorney General’s Office, the loss to consumers exceeds $100,000.
  • A concrete-pouring company serving central Ohio is accused of accepting over $20,000 in up-front payments from consumers and performing, at best, shoddy or incomplete work.
    Yost’s lawsuit, filed in Franklin County Common Pleas Court, names Lawrence Hurst and his company, B&L Custom Concrete, which he operated out of his Columbus home.
    In 2022, the Attorney General sued Hurst and his company True 2 Finish for similar violations of the Ohio Consumer Sales Practices Act. That lawsuit, filed in Warren County, ended in a default judgment for Yost’s office.

Hamilton County

  • The owner of a concrete business from Aurora, Indiana is accused of accepting consumer payments but not providing any services; consumer complaints allege payments of over a combined $20,000.
    Yost’s suit, filed in Hamilton County Common Pleas Court, names Roger Gray, who does business using the name All Around Concrete. Gray has also solicited Ohio consumers by representing that his business was named or affiliated with CIN-Concrete or Cincinnati Concrete Co.
    The lawsuit alleges that, after Roger Gray accepted money from consumers for projects, he left their homes and indicated he would return, but then he never returned and never did the work.

Lorain County

  • Customers of an Avon home builder and remodeler allegedly suffered significant financial losses when the contractor failed to fulfill promises or provided subpar workmanship, leaving some homes in worse condition than when he started working on them.
    Yost’s lawsuit, filed in Cuyahoga County Common Pleas Court, names Jeffrey Crawford Jr. and his company, Cleveland Custom Homes.
    Several consumers had to hire other contractors to redo or complete work that was poorly performed or left unfinished by the defendants, including finishing new homes that were not fit to live in when defendants abandoned the job. The customers allege losses in excess of $1 million.

Marion County

  • A Marion driveway-repair and -paving contractor is accused of taking $13,000 from homeowners but providing incomplete work and/or shoddy work.
    Yost’s lawsuit, filed in Marion County Common Pleas Court, names Justin Lovell and his company Everyday Paving & Sealcoating.
    In one instance, Lovell requested a customer write him a second check because the first one had been damaged. After receiving the replacement, Lovell cashed both checks.

When considering whether or who to hire for a home improvement job, consider the following:

  • Get recommendations. Successful contractors will make it easy to access feedback on their work and related documentation.
  • Ask for licensing, certification and proof of insurance. Depending on the project you are going to undertake, this may be important to the safety of your renovation.
  • Go online. Check out the company’s reputation with the Ohio Attorney General’s Office and the Better Business Bureau. You can also search for previous lawsuits filed by the Attorney General’s Consumer Protection Section.
  • Understand payment options. Do not make a large down payment. Instead, pay in increments – for example, one-third at the beginning of the job, one-third after half of the work is completed to your satisfaction and one-third when the job is completed. Avoid paying in cash. It leaves you with a limited paper trail if something goes wrong. Be cautious of contractors who want payment made out to themselves as individuals, instead of a company.

Ohioans who suspect unfair or deceptive business practices should contact the Ohio Attorney General’s Office at www.OhioProtects.org or 800-282-0515.

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