Buffalo contracting business ordered to dissolve, pay restitution and fines: NY attorney general

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Image from jR Construction's Facebook page

A Northern New York contractor has received a court order to dissolve his business, pay $44,000 in restitution and penalties of up to $10,000 following a state attorney general’s investigation.

Attorney General Letitia James based in Buffalo announced the court order against Robert Kwiatkowski Sr., his son Robert A. Kwiatkowski Jr., and their company JR Construction and said the order also permanently bans Kwiatkowski Sr. from acting as a home improvement contractor within the State of New York. It  requires Kwiatkowski Jr. to post a performance bond of $50,000, or the full amount of each contracted home improvement job before performing any work as a home improvement contractor.

“New York has zero tolerance for businesses and individuals who fail to provide New York consumers with services they paid for,” said James said in a statement. “These individuals scammed hardworking consumers and cheated them out of thousands. Home improvement contractors must comply with New York law or my office will take action to hold them accountable.”

JR Construction and the Kwiatkowskis’ were in the business of constructing pole barn structures on consumers’ residential property. The Attorney General’s Office received numerous complaints from customers of JR Construction, stating that they paid for work that was not performed and that work was performed in a shoddy and unworkmanlike manner.

The Kwiatkowskis’ failed to pay multiple subcontractors and vendors for construction materials, resulting in liens being placed on consumers’ properties, the statement said. The Kwiatkowskis also provided consumers home improvement contracts that failed to comply with New York law.

Consumer Brian Lords hired JR Construction to construct a pole building near his home. Lords described dealing with the Kwiatkowskis’ as “one of the worst experiences of my life.” The Kwiatkowskis’ took $36,000 from Lords, but “didn’t even pay the subcontractor who did the concrete,” and as a result a lien was placed on Lords’ property.

In addition to the name JR Construction, the Kwiatkowskis’ also operated their business under the names JR Contracting and Handyman Services, JR Enterprises, JR Structures, and JR Construction and Firewood.

Consumers who have not already reported problems have been invited to file an online complaint or to call the Attorney General’s Consumer Help Line in the Buffalo Regional Office at (716) 853-8404 by June 3.

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