New Jersey Division of Consumer Affairs Files Action Against Burlington County Home Improvement Contracting Company and its Owner for Misleading Consumers About the Need for Repairs, Performing Substandard, Unfinished Work, and Other Consumer Fraud Violations
NEWARK – The New Jersey Division of Consumer Affairs has filed an action against the Marlton-based Daruwe Corp., d/b/a Majestic Home Remodeling, and its owner Wisam Emachah, alleging that they, among other things, took deposits for home improvement work that was never begun or completed, misled consumers into believing they needed new roofs, performed substandard work, and failed to provide the represented "lifetime guarantee."
In a six-count complaint filed in Burlington County Superior Court, the Division alleges that Emachah and Majestic Home Remodeling violated the Consumer Fraud Act, the Contractors' Registration Act, the Contractor Registration Regulations, and the Home Improvement Regulations.
The defendants advertised and otherwise represented that they specialized in roofing, remodeling bathrooms, and installing doors, windows, and/or siding for consumers in New Jersey. From March 2012 to at least February 2015, the defendants allegedly failed to perform the contracted for home improvement work in whole or in part, which has resulted in losses to consumers across the state in amounts ranging from $400 to $30,500.
"We're not going to let New Jersey homeowners be victimized by corrupt contractors who deceive them into believing they need costly home repairs, as Wisam Emachah allegedly did," said Attorney General Christopher S. Porrino. "What makes this case even more disturbing is that this contractor allegedly wasn't content with tricking customers into hiring him for repairs they didn't need. He further defrauded them by walking off with their money without satisfactorily finishing the jobs."
"Consumers are especially vulnerable to deceptive practices when it comes to roofing repairs, because it is often not obvious whether the repairs are necessary or have been done properly," said Steve Lee, Director of the Division of Consumer Affairs. "Contractors who take unfair advantage of this vulnerability, or otherwise defraud their customers, will face serious consequences."
The Complaint alleges that Majestic Home Remodeling and Emachah violated consumer protection laws through practices that include:
- Misrepresenting to one consumer that the roof of his home would not last another winter, and misrepresenting to another consumer that black streaks on her roof were black mold, for the purpose of convincing them to enter into a contract for replacement of the roofs.
- Failing to provide consumers with home improvement contracts, or providing contracts only after the work had begun.
- Accepting payments from consumers and then beginning home improvement work, only to abandon the work and fail to return to consumers' homes for weeks, months, or at all.
- Requiring consumers to make significant initial payments, and then failing to perform the contracted-for home improvements.
- Performing substandard work and failing to make the necessary corrective repairs, such as installing a ceiling that leaked, failing to install flashing on a chimney, and installing roof tiles that did not overlap, causing the roof to leak.
- Causing damage to a consumer's home while performing work and then failing to fix, clean, or compensate the consumer for the damage; including causing damage to a chimney, cutting porch rails to accommodate siding, and creating a two-foot hole in a consumer's driveway.
- Installing merchandise inferior to that contracted and paid for by consumers; such as windows with lower insulation values.
- Representing that the work performed was backed by a warranty, such as a 50 year warranty for windows, then failing to honor the warranty.
- Charging a consumer's credit card in excess of the amount the consumer authorized, and in another instance, placing an unauthorized charge on the credit card of a consumer.
The Complaint against Majestic Home Remodeling and Emachah seeks consumer restitution, reimbursement of attorneys' fees and costs, and civil penalties for each statutory and regulatory violation, as well as a permanent revocation of the home improvement contractor registration of Majestic Home Remodeling and a permanent injunction as to defendants' advertisement, offer for sale, sale and performance of home improvements in New Jersey.
Investigator Loretta Creggett in the Division of Consumer Affairs Office of Consumer Protection conducted the investigation of this matter.
Deputy Attorney General Alina Wells in the Consumer Fraud Prosecution Section within the Division of Law is representing the state in this action.
Consumers who believe they have been cheated or scammed by a business, or suspect any other form of consumer abuse, can file an online complaint with the State Division of Consumer Affairs by visiting its website or by calling 1-800-242-5846 (toll free within New Jersey) or 973-504- 6200.