Consumer Affairs Legal Action Results in $137,000 Being
Returned to Homeowners Whose Roofs, Chimneys and Gutters
Were Damaged By Contractors
NEWARK – Homeowners whose roofs, chimneys and gutters were intentionally
damaged by representatives of home improvement contractors during inspections or
repairs have received a total of $137,733.84 in restitution, under terms of an August
settlement that resolved a lawsuit brought by the Office of the Attorney General and
Division of Consumer Affairs on behalf of the consumers.
The Division of Consumer Affairs has mailed checks to 31 homeowners across New
Jersey who were defrauded by representatives of AAA Reliable, Inc.; Old Reliable
Construction, LLC; A Safeway Construction, Inc.; A Safeway Construction, LLC; and/or
A Safeway Improvements, Inc. The State alleged that those businesses were owned
and/or controlled by Sulejman Lita. Lita, 37, of North Haledon, Passaic County, paid the
State $150,000 which was set aside for restitution to consumers, under terms of the
July 2013 Final Consent Judgment settling the lawsuit filed against him by the State.
The State alleged that Lita and his North Jersey-based companies targeted senior
citizens, offering free inspections and low-priced repairs for any problems that were
found during inspections. In reality, the State alleged, workers damaged chimneys,
roofs and gutters and then coerced consumers into paying for expensive repairs.
"Consumers are getting their hard-earned money back, which was our goal from the
start of this legal process," Acting Attorney General John J. Hoffman said. "Just as
importantly, we banned Lita from working in the state's home improvement industry for
three years and permanently shut down his businesses."
The restitution checks fully compensate consumers for the damages to their homes.
Lita is required to pay an additional $165,000 in penalties and costs to the State by
August 15, 2015, under terms of the settlement agreement. An additional $300,000 civil
penalty that was suspended will become payable if Lita violates the settlement terms or
the State's Consumer Fraud Act, Home Improvement Contractors' Registration Act, or
related regulations, through July 2016.
"We expect full compliance and any future violations committed by Lita will not go
unpunished," said Eric T. Kanefsky, Director of the Division of Consumer Affairs.
"Consumer complaints against home improvement contractors consistently are among
our largest complaint categories and we urge homeowners to perform their due
diligence before signing a contract."
The State's lawsuit also included Liman Lita, 39, of North Haledon, who is Sulejman's
cousin, and who also allegedly owned and/or controlled the five companies sued by the
State. These companies have all been required to cease business, under terms of the
Deputy Attorney General/Section Chief Lorraine K. Rak and Deputy Attorney General
Nicholas Kant, of the Affirmative Civil Enforcement Practice Group within the Division of
Law, represented the State in the action. The Office of Consumer Protection within the
Division of Consumer Affairs conducted the investigation, with assistance from the
Bergen County Consumer Affairs Office.
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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Consumer Outreach events.