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Post date: August 1 2006

Court Rules Against Orange County Masonry Contractor

Attorney General Spitzer today announced that his office has obtained a court order shutting down a Middletown masonry contractor who was accused of abandoning projects and shoddy workmanship.

Justice Christine A. Sproat of Dutchess County State Supreme Court issued a court order barring David Wright and his home improvement company, Stonecraft Masonry & Stucco Contractors, Inc., from the home improvement contracting business unless he posts a $100,000 performance bond. The court decree also orders Wright to pay nearly $80,000 in consumer restitution, civil penalties and costs.

Last February, Spitzer's office filed a lawsuit against Wright alleging that he engaged in deceptive business practices and violated State laws that require contractors to protect down payments by placing them in escrow accounts and failed to include important consumer protection provisions in contracts.

Wright also was accused of failing to pay Small Claims Court judgments obtained by several customers.

"My office is committed to taking aggressive action against those who engage in home improvement fraud," Spitzer said.

Spitzer’s office filed the lawsuit against Wright after he had reneged on a deal made in September 2005 in which he promised to pay nearly $22,500 in civil penalties and restitution to seven consumers. Even as Spitzer’s office received an additional five complaints, Wright failed to make any promised payments and failed to implement any business reforms.

Since 1999, Spitzer’s office has commenced enforcement actions against more than 110 owners or operators of approximately 170 home improvement companies.

Individuals with complaints against a home improvement contractor are encouraged to contact the Attorney General’s consumer help line at 800-771-7755.

This case is being handled by Assistant Attorney General Nicholas Garin under the supervision Mary Kavaney, Assistant Attorney General In Charge of the Poughkeepsie Regional Office.