Home Repair Contractors Sued Over Phony Guarantees

Two area home repair contractors who solicited thousands of dollars in work under the false promise that repair service was guaranteed for life have been sued by Atty. General Lisa Madigan.

The lawsuit, filed Tuesday in Cook County Circuit Court, alleges Frank E. Edelmann and Lee Sobczak, both of LaGrange Park, solicited consumers through deceptive ads in newspapers and online that guaranteed certain repairs for life, a release from the AG’s office said.

The suit alleges the defendants operated Concrete Charlie Inc., Concrete Repair Center Inc., and Ostarr Corp. of America, all based in LaGrange, and violated the state’s Consumer Fraud and Deceptive Business Practices Act and the Home Repair and Remodeling Act.

Lifetime guarantees were made verbally or were included in written work orders signed by the defendants and consumers, the release said.

Edelmann and Sobczak even gave consumers certificates to give the appearance work was guaranteed, but never honored them and regularly avoided consumers who requested repairs under the guarantee.

Consumers in Cook, DuPage and Iroquois counties reported losses totaling more than $27,700 due to fraudulent contracts, according to the release.

The lawsuit asks the court to prohibit the defendants from working in the home repair trade in Illinois; to cancel all pending contracts with the defendants; and obtain restitution for affected consumers. It also seeks civil penalties of $50,000, additional penalties of $50,000 for each violation committed with intent to defraud, and $10,000 per violation committed against a person 65 or older.