June 8, 2007
Clayton, Mo. — A St. Louis County man is facing criminal charges for defrauding consumers on home repair projects. Robert Ciralsky (DOB 10-9-65), owner of Tile Town, was arrested Thursday (June 7) after being indicted on charges of unlawful merchandising practices by the St. Louis County grand jury at the request of Attorney General Jay Nixon.
Ciralsky is charged with three counts of unlawful merchandising practices in connection with his business in which he sold and installed hardwood and tile flooring and carpeting. According to the indictment, Ciralsky took advance payment to perform home repair work on at least three occasions but then failed to complete the work. This included one allegation that the defendant was paid a deposit of $9,500 in July 2005 to install flooring for one consumer, and the flooring was never delivered or installed. On two other instances in 2005, Ciralsky allegedly was paid $847 and $679 to deliver and install carpeting and tile respectively for consumers, but failed to perform the work. When one consumer went to the defendant's business address attempting to get an explanation of why the work hadn't been done, the business was vacant.
“Consumers should always be wary of home repair businesses that want you to pay either full payment or a substantial down payment in advance,” Nixon said. “Only using companies with a verifiable track record can save you a lot of headaches, not to mention money.”
Unlawful merchandising practices is a Class D felony under Missouri law, punishable upon conviction by up to four years in prison and a fine of $5,000 per count. The pending charges against the defendant are merely accusations. As in all criminal cases, the defendant is presumed innocent unless or until proven guilty.
Nixon offers the following common-sense tips for consumers when selecting a home repair company: