An unregistered Everett home improvement contractor has been sued for allegedly accepting more than $350,000 from homeowners for home improvement projects but failing to complete the work, Attorney General Maura Healey announced today.\n\nThe lawsuit, filed against Richard Rolon d/b/a The Design Consultants in Suffolk Superior Court, seeks consumer restitution and civil penalties for violations of the Massachusetts Consumer Protection Act and the Home Improvement Contractor Act.\n\n\u201cWe allege that this contractor ripped off homeowners for thousands of dollars and left his projects unfinished and even uninhabitable,\u201d said AG Healey. \u201cWe are taking this action to recover losses for consumers.\u201d\n\nThe AG\u2019s Consumer Protection Division began an investigation after receiving several consumer complaints that Rolon took hundreds of thousands of dollars in deposits for renovation projects, then failed to provide the promised services. The AG\u2019s Office has since received information that Rolon\u2019s business has ceased operating.\n\nAccording to the complaint, Rolon solicited and accepted large deposits, or full payment, in advance from homeowners and promised to manage, oversee, and order materials and labor for their projects. The size of the projects varied but included several kitchen remodeling projects, a major multi-room home renovation, and a major renovation to the common spaces of a 12-story condominium building.\n\nHowever, the complaint alleges that Rolon failed to complete the projects, and even failed to start renovation at one home after demolition was complete. Consumers reported that Rolon never provided all of the services for which he was paid, or refunds for undelivered materials and services. Consumers suffered additional harm including damage to their homes from shoddy or incomplete work and added expenses from hiring replacement contractors to restore their homes to a livable condition. One family was displaced from their home and had to stay in a hotel for weeks.\n\nThe AG\u2019s Office offers the following guidance to those who are considering hiring a home improvement contractor:\n\nBefore hiring a home improvement contractor, always confirm a contractor is registered with the Office of Consumer Affairs and Business Regulation (OCABR). Home improvement contractor registration status and arbitration history can be found online on OCABR\u2019s website. \n\tConsumers should protect themselves by vetting contractors carefully, getting multiple estimates for a project, and always checking a contractor\u2019s references.\n\tContracts for home improvement projects that exceed $1,000 must be in writing. Make sure the contract includes the start and end dates for the project, a complete listing of any subcontractors to be used and a complete schedule of payments.\n\tFor home improvement projects that exceed $1,000, consumers cannot be required to make a deposit of more than one third of the project price in advance, except for orders of custom made materials.\n\tBe vigilant of home improvement scams. If you\u2019re contacted by phone or someone soliciting door-to-door, verify the identity of the person offering to do work on your home through a trusted source before giving them any money or personal information.\nIf consumers have questions or concerns about home improvement contractors or projects, they may call the Attorney General\u2019s consumer hotline at 617-727-8400 or file a complaint with the office. For more information about home improvement, visit the AG\u2019s website.\n\nThis case is being handled by Deputy Chief William O\u2019Hearn and Legal Analyst Bianca Hoffman, both of the AG\u2019s Consumer and Advocacy Response Division and Assistant Attorney General Mychii Snape of the AG\u2019s Consumer Protection Division, as well as Financial Investigator Shannon Roark and Investigator Ciara Tran of the AG\u2019s Civil Investigations Division.