CINCINNATI — Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost filed a lawsuit this week seeking to make a Milford contractor, who officials said took deposits but failed to finish jobs, pay damages to his customers.
The lawsuit, filed in Hamilton County Common Pleas Court Monday, accuses Robert Collins and his business, United Home Solutions LLCs, of violating Ohio's Consumer Sales Practices Act and Home Solicitation Sales Act.
Collins and his business would take customers' money and do no work, or perform shoddy work, according to the lawsuit. The company is also accused of failing to provide consumers proper notice of their right to cancel their contracts within three days as required by state law.
Last year, Collins faced similar criminal charges. He was accused of stealing more than $50,000 from nine homeowners. He pleaded guilty to nine counts of theft and was sentenced to five years of probation and ordered to pay more than $50,000 in restitution.
The new lawsuit addresses three more consumers who lost a total of about $20,000, according to Yost.
"'Take the money and run' will get you in serious trouble in Ohio," Yost said in a news release.
Yost said consumers should research contractors before hiring one, get multiple estimates, understand cancellation rights, get verbal promises in writing and be wary of requests for a large down payment.
Anyone who suspect a scam or unfair sales practice can contact the Ohio Attorney General's Office at OhioProtects.org or 800-282-0515.