Rochester contractor ordered to pay $92K for defrauding customers
ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WHAM) – A contractor and snowplow operator in Rochester has been ordered to pay more than $42,000 back to customers he defrauded.
Brian Robinson, who ran Apex Construction and Robinson and Son, Inc., lost a lawsuit against the New York Attorney General's Office.
Robinson has been ordered to pay $42,085 in restitution to consumers and $50,000 in penalties and costs.
13WHAM's Amy Hudak spoke in February 2016 with a man who hired Robinson for snowplowing. Russ Shaner said Robinson cashed her check quickly, then never did the work.
Over the course of six years, Robinson promised many consumers refunds but never followed up with them. He would often take deposits and keep the money without ever performing the home improvement, snow plowing, and tree removal services he was contracted to do.
He would later promised refunds to consumers but never paid them. In total, 40 people lost more than $42,000 in deposits and additional funds needed to repair poor workmanship Robinson left behind. Nine of those obtained small claims court judgments, but Robinson refused to pay the judgments.
As part of the order issued by New York State Supreme Court Justice Ann Marie Taddeo, Robinson is now banned from taking any advance payments, including deposits for materials, until he posts a $100,000 insurance bond. The order also prevents Robinson from ever owning or operating a home improvement contracting business, even under a different name.
“When New Yorkers hire a contractor, they need to know they’ll get the services they’ve paid for,” said Attorney General Schneiderman. “By failing to provide the services promised, this contractor created an unacceptable public safety risk in the wake of extreme weather, while scamming New Yorkers out of their hard earned money."
Anyone who may not have filed a claim against Robinson should call the Attorney General’s Consumer Help Line in the Rochester Regional Office at (585) 327-3240. Consumers should have a complaint form and a copy of the contract and canceled check handed over to the Attorney General's Office before February 2, 2018.
The Attorney General has information for homeowners to consider when using a home improvement contractor. That can be found here.