Judge Finds Home Improvement Contractor Guilty Of Criminal And Civil Contempt

Attorney General Spitzer today praised an order issued by a judge to stop an Orange County home improvement contractor from continuing to defraud consumers.

Supreme Court Justice Elaine Slobod’s order permanently bars Christopher Rooney of Newburgh from engaging in the home improvement business in New York State, whether acting individually or through his businesses known as Renaissance Renovation and CRC Home. The judge also ordered Rooney to pay restitution to consumers, fines and costs totaling over $97,000.

In addition, Spitzer sought and obtained a court order finding Rooney guilty of civil and criminal contempt for violating the terms of a prior court order against him. If Rooney fails to pay the full amount ordered by the court, he will be required to serve six months for civil contempt and 30 days for criminal contempt.

Spitzer’s office obtained a court order against Rooney in September 2000 which barred him from engaging in the home improvement business unless he posted a $50,000 performance bond, and required him to pay restitution, fines and costs.

However, Rooney ignored the court order and continued to engage in the home improvement business without posting the required bond. In addition, Rooney continued to engage in deceptive and illegal practices by continuing to perform shoddy work, failing to complete jobs, failing to remedy defective work, and failing to make full restitution to consumers.

"This office will aggressively pursue unscrupulous home improvement contractors who defraud consumers and defy court orders," Spitzer said.

Since 1999, Spitzer’s office has commenced enforcement actions against nearly 100 owners and operators of over 130 home improvement companies throughout the state.

For tips on hiring a home improvement contractor, consumers are encouraged to visit the Attorney General’s consumer web site at www.ag.ny.gov/bureaus/consumer-frauds/home-improvement-fact-sheet.

Individuals wishing to file a complaint against a home improvement contractor should call the Attorney General’s consumer help line at (800) 771-7755.

The case is being handled by Assistant Attorney General Yasmin Kutty under the supervision of Gary Brown, Assistant Attorney General in Charge of the Westchester Regional Office.

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