N.J. files fraud complaint against Sandy contractor

Public domain image.

Public domain image.

A Jersey Shore contracting company and its owner allegedly employed “deceptive practices” to obtain Superstorm Sandy relief funds from four homeowners who sought construction work, New Jersey authorities announced.

Attorney General Christopher S. Porrino and the Division of Consumer Affairs have filed a complaint against Eco-Coastal LLC and its owner, James J. Sullivan, of Monmouth County.

The complaint alleges that, among other things, Sullivan and his company received more than $230,000 in federal relief funds and failed to complete the contracted work.

“This company has an admitted history of failure to adhere to the state’s rules governing home improvement contractors,” said Attorney General Christopher S. Porrino. “We will not tolerate repeated abuses of consumers, especially those who are desperate to return home after Superstorm Sandy.”

The complaint seeks consumer restitution and civil penalties. In addition, the state seeks to permanently ban Sullivan from doing construction work in New Jersey.

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“The Division remains committed to rooting out those contractors who have fraudulently taken advantage of New Jersey residents simply seeking to return home after a horrific natural disaster,” said Sharon M. Joyce, Acting Director of the Division of Consumer Affairs. “This action sends a message. If contractors take money for work which they cannot or will not finish, we will hold them responsible for the damage they have done to consumers.”

The public can report consumer abuse by filing an online complaint or calling 1-800-242-5846.

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