State accuses Lake County contractors of fraud
The Illinois Attorney General is suing two Lake County companies over allegations they charged customers more than $175,000 for home repair work that was never performed or not completed correctly, authorities said.
The suit, filed in Cook County, accuses Sentry RSW and its president, Keith Polanowski, and the now-dissolved Sentry Restorations Inc. and its president, Brett Clark, of violating the state's Consumer Fraud and Deceptive Business Practices Act and the Home Repair and Remodeling Act, officials said.
According to the lawsuit, the companies once operated as one entity but later used the different names to confuse consumers. Polanowski and Clark collected homeowners' insurance checks for roof repairs and other construction services, but either did not perform the work or the repairs were shoddy, officials from the attorney general's office said.
The lawsuit alleges consumers who contacted the companies to complain either could not reach anyone or were promised further repairs that were never performed, officials said.
In most cases, the lawsuit states, consumers attempting to cancel contracts were refused refunds or were sued for breach of contract.
Officials said the attorney general's office received 50 complaints from consumers in Cook, DuPage and Lake Counties, who reported losses of over $176,428. The Better Business Bureau received an additional 24 complaints involving the defendants, officials said.
"Home repair fraud is consistently one of the top complaints reported to my office," Attorney General Lisa Madigan said in a news release Wednesday. "I encourage anyone looking for a contractor or repair service to call my office and the Better Business Bureau to ask about a company's record before hiring them."
The attorney general's office is asking a court to prevent Sentry RSW and Sentry Restorations from doing business in Illinois. The lawsuit also asks to nullify any contracts, provide restitution to consumers and impose civil penalties on the defendants.
Attempts to contact Sentry RSW were unsuccessful Wednesday because the business line has been disconnected.
Anyone else who may have been defrauded by Sentry RSW Inc. or Sentry Restorations Inc. should contact the Illinois attorney general's office Consumer Fraud Hotline. The numbers are (800) 386-5438 in Chicago; (800) 243-0618 in Springfield; and (800) 243-0607 in Carbondale.