Framing contractor allegedly scammed consumers by not fulfilling contracts or completing work, AG says

Framing contractor allegedly scammed consumers by not fulfilling contracts or completing work, AG says

A Philadelphia-based framing and residence improvement contractor allegedly failed to satisfy contracts with customers by not finishing perform or doing so haphazardly, a lawsuit submitted on Thursday by Pennsylvania Lawyer Basic Michelle Henry statements. 

Max Contractors Inc. is accused of scamming individuals by contracting with several Pennsylvania residents for typical work and residence advancements, accepting significant payments for materials and expert services and then not setting up or finishing the get the job done. In a lot of conditions, the lawsuit alleges, perform that was concluded as section of these contracts ended up performed inadequately or in an “unprofessional way.”

As laid out in Henry’s lawsuit, Max Contractors’ owner, Murillo Sousa, usually contacted people by cellular phone and individually frequented their residences for consultations about different property enhancements on behalf of the organization, and was the principal get in touch with for customers, signing estimates and contracts in individual. In at minimum a single occasion, the lawsuit alleges, Sousa accepted a substantial innovative payment from a client but in no way began the agreed-on do the job. 

In other instances, Sousa started the jobs as planned but failed to comprehensive the perform or did so in a “shoddy, unworkmanlike fashion,” in accordance to the lawsuit. He allegedly promised consumers that their issues about deficient or incomplete get the job done would be remedied, and then failed to make initiatives to fix the complications. 

Sousa refused to refund at minimum just one shopper for deficient perform, and in some cases failed to use legally-compliant contracts with people, according to examples incorporated in the state’s authorized grievance. 

In those cases, Sousa and Max Contractors only equipped a PO box for their deal with as contractors, inspite of an address on Castor Avenue being registered with the state. Max Contractor’s registration with the Purchaser Protection place of work was deactivated in November 2021 thanks to repeated omissions and faults in the paperwork, the lawsuit stated. 

“Sousa strung along buyers with empty promises that finally led to Pennsylvanians becoming scammed out of their really hard-attained income,” Henry stated. “He pocketed the revenue without completing the work — that’s a violation of the regulation, pure and simple.” 

Previous January, Sousa was charged with acquiring advance payment for solutions and failing to conduct in Delaware County. The rates had been afterwards altered to theft by deception, and Sousa pleaded guilty to the expenses in February. Final March, identical charges of theft by deception and misleading organization techniques had been filed against Sousa in Philadelphia, however the prices had been dismissed in December. 

The lawsuit aspects 4 issues that the state’s Bureau of Consumer Defense has gained about Sousa and Max Contractors, all of which happened over the study course of two months in 2021. The issues allege that customers paid out Max Contractors hundreds of pounds for initial deposits and early payments, only to acquire “substandard and defective” work or have been abandoned by the contractors right after refusing to spend for unwanted added do the job. 

In some circumstances, Max Contractors did not get hold of a allow, performed perform that was not up to code, demanded shoppers to fork out for repairs on perform that had been done improperly and did not concern a refund for cancelled do the job till just after a customer filed a police report, in accordance to the lawsuit. 

Sousa may perhaps have also applied the names LMN Standard Construction LLC, Skyline Contractor Imperium LLC, Straightforward Way Building LLC, Cleanse Foreseeable future Standard Design LLC and MPS Residence Improvement LLC for his contracting enterprise. Sousa himself may perhaps have also been regarded to individuals as Murillo Da Costa Sousa, Murillo Sousa Dacosta, Murillo Da Costa and Murillo Costa, in accordance to the Lawyer General’s Office environment. 

The lawsuit requests that the courts get the defendants to be completely barred from executing small business as property enhancement contractors in Pennsylvania, spend restitution to all impacted customers, pay civil penalties of $1,000 for each and every violation of the Customer Safety Law and $3,000 for every single violation involving these 60 several years or more mature. 

In Oct, OSHA proposed above $269,000 in penalties for Max Contractors just after nine inspections in two several years resulted in five willful and 21 significant violations for ignoring federal tumble safety necessities. The ninth inspection uncovered that the organization was exposing staff to fatal slide hazards at a household worksite on Carson Street in Roxborough past April. 

OSHA also cited the organization for 3 severe and 6 repeat violations for not furnishing protecting eyewear to staff though using air-run nail guns, failing to educate personnel and making it possible for inappropriate use of ladders. 

Anyone who thinks they or anyone they know fell victim to these tactics is encouraged to get hold of the Bureau of Buyer Security at (800) 441-2555 or [email protected]. Inspectors, contractors, laborers, suppliers or any one else who may possibly have details about Sousa or Max Contractors must speak to the Bureau as nicely.