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Press Release  Everett Contractor Debarred, Ordered to Pay Restitution and Penalties for Illegal Home Improvement Scheme

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  • Office of Attorney General Maura Healey

Media Contact   for Everett Contractor Debarred, Ordered to Pay Restitution and Penalties for Illegal Home Improvement Scheme

Meggie Quackenbush

BostonAn unregistered Everett home improvement contractor has been ordered to pay $489,884 in restitution and penalties and will be permanently debarred from operating as a home improvement contractor as a result of a judgment issued in Suffolk Superior Court, Attorney General Maura Healey announced today.

The AG’s Office sued Richard Rolon d/b/a The Design Consultants in November 2017 seeking consumer restitution and civil penalties for violations of the Massachusetts Consumer Protection Act and the Home Improvement Contractor Act. Rolon allegedly accepted hundreds of thousands of dollars in deposits from at least 12 consumers to perform work on their homes over a four-year period.

“This contractor swindled his customers, disrupted their lives, and caused lasting damage to their homes,” said AG Healey. “I’m pleased that as a result of the court’s judgment, this contractor has been permanently banned from subjecting residents to his illegal home improvement scheme.”

The AG’s Consumer Protection Division began an investigation after receiving several complaints that Rolon took deposits for renovation projects, then failed to provide the promised services. According to the AG’s complaint, Rolon accepted large deposits and advanced payments in exchange for assurances that he would manage, oversee, and order materials and labor for projects such as kitchen remodeling projects, and a major multi-room home renovation. The complaint alleges that Rolon failed to complete the projects, and in one case, failed to start renovations at a 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 for months.

The AG’s Office encourages consumers to do their due diligence before they enter into any agreements with home improvement contractors:

  • Shop wisely. Ask your friends and neighbors for recommendations about contractors they have used and trust. Always ask contractors for references.
  • Research. Check to make sure your contractor is registered with the Massachusetts Office of Consumer Affairs and Business Regulation. This will allow you to check a contractor’s complaint history. The existence of a complaint does not necessarily mean that a particular contractor is not reputable. 
  • Solicitations. Be extra cautious if a contractor solicits business by the phone or by knocking on the door.
  • Get it in writing. Make sure you obtain a written contract or price estimate that details the job that will be done. For more complex projects, ask for an itemized estimate.
  • Get the right permits. Many home improvement projects require a permit and inspection by your city or town. Make sure to discuss permits with your contractor early in the process and contact your city or town if you have questions about which permits you need. Avoid contractors who offer to do work without the necessary permits. You could end up footing the bill for re-doing work that’s not up to code.
  • Upfront fees. Be wary of contractors who demand the full price of the work up front. For most 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. Reputable contractors will not ask for the final payment until the job is done.

If consumers have questions or concerns about home improvement contractors or projects, they may call the Attorney General’s consumer hotline at 617-727-8400 or file a complaint with the office. For more information about home improvement, visit the AG’s website.

This case is being handled by Deputy Chief William O’Hearn and Legal Analyst Bianca Hoffman, both of the AG’s Consumer and Advocacy Response Division, Assistant Attorney General Mychii Snape of the AG’s Consumer Protection Division, and Financial Investigator Shannon Roark and Investigator Ciara Tran of the AG’s Civil Investigations Division.


Media Contact   for Everett Contractor Debarred, Ordered to Pay Restitution and Penalties for Illegal Home Improvement Scheme

  • Office of the Attorney General 

    Attorney General Maura Healey is the chief lawyer and law enforcement officer of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.
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