Attorney General Morrisey sues unlicensed Raleigh County plumber
BECKLEY, W.Va. (WVVA) West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey has filed a lawsuit alleging that an unlicensed Raleigh County plumbing contractor defrauded at least seven consumers of more than 5,700 $ in payments for plumbing projects that the defendant would never complete.
The lawsuit targets Jerry Smales, who claimed to be a plumbing contractor even though he had no required license. It seeks to block him from any future contract work in West Virginia, in addition to paying restitution and penalties. The alleged violations occurred in connection with its operation of Mountaineer Plumbing and Beckley Plumbing.
“Anyone who enters into home improvement contracts of any type must finish their job,” Attorney General Morrisey said. “When someone believes they can ignore their obligations to their clients, they should expect vigorous litigation from our office.” Smales operated Mountaineer Plumbing and Beckley Plumbing from a UPS store in Beckley, according to the civil complaint filed in Raleigh County Circuit Court.
The scheme has victimized consumers since December 2018. Most of the projects involved plumbing work, and all were in Raleigh County. The attorney general alleges that Smales collected individual payments totaling $5,766.78, but never completed work on any of the seven projects. He also never provided a refund, despite being asked by consumers to do so.
The complaint also alleges that neither Smales nor any of its employees were licensed plumbers. The complaint further alleges that when consumers complained about shoddy or unfinished work, Smales handed them fake court documents filled with misrepresentations and stalked them on social media to get them to pay bills. they rightly shouldn’t. The lawsuit accuses Smales of unfair or deceptive practices, failing to complete the job as promised and failing to notify consumers of the three-day right of cancellation.
The Attorney General is seeking a court order permanently barring Smales from any future employment, whether as owner, employee, contractor or otherwise. The lawsuit also seeks a $5,000 fine for each violation of state consumer protection law, restitution for each consumer who has not yet obtained judgment against the defendant, and reimbursement of court costs. state investigation and litigation.
Read a copy of the complaint at https://bit.ly/3o4YaPJ.
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