New Jersey Division of Consumer Affairs Files Action Against Atlantic County-Based Home Improvement Contractor, Charging Alleged Violations of the Consumer Fraud Act and Contractors Registration Act
NEWARK - The Office of the Attorney General and the New Jersey Division of Consumer Affairs have filed suit against ShorePro Contractors, LLC, of Linwood and its owner, Christopher N. Molosso Sr., for allegedly committing multiple violations of the Consumer Fraud Act and Contractors Registration Act, including performing work after the company's liability insurance had lapsed.
The state's six-count complaint, filed in State Superior Court in Atlantic County, alleges that the defendants on three separate occasions allowed required liability insurance coverage to lapse for multi-month periods, but still performed home repairs and renovations during these times. Nine consumers who have filed complaints with the Division of Consumer Affairs to date also alleged that ShorePro Contractors and Molosso performed substandard work, failed to repair substandard work consistent with contracted-for warranties, and pressured consumers into paying for unwanted extras in their home repair and renovation projects.
In one instance, Molosso allegedly took $2,000 from a consumer to pay for a home renovation permit even though the permit fee was fully waived because the consumer's home was damaged by Superstorm Sandy.
"The defendants' alleged repeated conduct in allowing commercial liability insurance to lapse demonstrates a pattern of illegal activity," Acting Attorney General John J. Hoffman said. "Contractors must meet the requirements of our consumer protection laws or else they cannot conduct business in New Jersey."
Among other things, the Contractors Registration Act requires a minimum of $500,000 in commercial liability insurance coverage.
In its filed complaint, the State also alleges that the defendants also failed to include required consumer protection information and language in their contracts with consumers, created long delays in completing projects, and also failed to finish work that consumers paid for.
"Homeowners need to get the improvements that they paid for from hired contractors," said Steve Lee, Acting Director of the State Division of Consumer Affairs. "We are pursuing every legal avenue to make sure that victimized homeowners are made whole and that significant civil penalties are imposed against contractors that violate the law."
A violation of the Consumer Fraud Act or the Contractors Registration Act carries a civil penalty of up to $10,000 for the initial violation, and up to $20,000 for each subsequent violation.
Investigator Jared O'Cone in the Office of Consumer Protection within the Division of Consumer Affairs led the investigation.
Deputy Attorney General Russell M. Smith, Jr. in the Division of Law's Consumer Fraud Prosecution Section is representing the State.
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.
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