January 28, 2008
Clayton, Mo. — A St. Louis County man who sold and installed hardwood and tile flooring and carpeting today pleaded guilty to defrauding consumers on home repair projects. Robert Ciralsky (DOB — 10/9/65), owner of Tile Town, was indicted in June 2007 on the charge of unlawful merchandising practices by the St. Louis County grand jury at the request of Attorney General Jay Nixon.
In addition to entering the plea, Ciralsky also paid $5,000 in consumer restitution today. He is required to pay another $10,000 in restitution before his sentencing, which is scheduled for April 25. 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.
According to the indictment, Ciralsky took advance payment to perform home repair work but then failed to purchase the materials or complete the work. This included an allegation he was paid a deposit of $9,500 by one customer in July 2005 to install flooring, but never delivered or installed the flooring.
“ 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.”
Nixon offers the following common-sense tips for consumers when selecting a home repair company: