AG: Home improvement firm bilked clients
Sun-Times Media June 17, 2012 11:40AM
Updated: July 19, 2012 6:11AM
A defunct Alsip home improvement supply company solicited and accepted payments from customers last summer even as it prepared to shut down, and never repaid the money, a lawsuit filed by the attorney general’s office claims.
The suit was filed Wednesday in Cook County Circuit Court against Family Security Doors & Windows Inc., which operated at 11706 S. Mayfield Ave. in Alsip, a news release from the attorney general’s office said. The lawsuit names company principals Robert E. Starr, of Worth, his brother Michael Starr, of Chicago, Thomas J. Abbott, of Chicago, and Gordon Jackson, of Oak Forest.
The company failed to refund homeowners more than $90,000 in down payments for orders that were never fulfilled after it went out of business, the lawsuit claims.
Family Security had been in business since 1989 — fabricating, selling, redistributing and installing household fixtures, including replacement doors, security doors, screen doors, windows and window coverings, according to the release. The company sold directly to homeowners and businesses in Cook County.
The lawsuit alleges it accepted down payments from consumers for new business throughout the summer of 2011, though previous orders already faced lengthy delivery and installation delays as the company prepared to go out of business. Beginning in at least April 2011, the company was preparing to liquidate as it struggled to meet debt and operating costs, yet continued to accept new business, according to the lawsuit.
When the business closed in September 2011, Family Security had accepted down payments from more than 150 consumers totaling more than $90,000 that it would never fulfill. Customers were told services would not be provided, nor would there be refunds, averaging as much as $1,000, according to the release. The lawsuit asks the court to ban the defendants from owning or operating a home repair business in Illinois, seeks refunds for consumers, and civil penalties.