July 1, 2008
Kansas City, Mo.- Attorney General Jay Nixon is seeking a permanent injunction, full restitution for consumers and civil penalties in a lawsuit filed today against a Blue Springs home improvement business that accepted thousands of dollars in down payments from customers but never completed the projects. Nixon filed the petition against Steven C. Schonfeldt and his business, Complete Custom Home Concepts (CCHC), today in Jackson County Circuit Court.
Nixon says CCHC has advertised, offered for sale and sold home repair services in Blue Springs and Lee's Summit since at least 2006, with Schonfeldt personally meeting with the potential customers to discuss home repair needs and negotiate contracts. While negotiating the contracts, Schonfeldt indicated that he would personally perform the home repair services and gave customers approximate dates for completing the job and estimates on the total cost. He also required consumers to make down payments of approximately half the total price for his home repair services.
Nixon says that after receiving the down payment, Schonfeldt usually failed to start work on the consumers' properties by the represented start date. He also asked for and received additional money from the same consumers, while representing that he needed to buy building supplies before starting work. In most cases, Schonfeldt would perform none of the contracted services once he received the down payment, while ignoring consumer inquiries and requests for status updates.
On at least two occasions, Schonfeldt represented that he was unable to begin work on projects due to delays in ordering materials from local building supply companies; when contacted, the managers of the companies confirmed that neither CCHC nor Schonfeldt had ordered any materials from their companies as stated. In another instance, Schonfeldt promised a consumer a refund and actually gave a refund check to the consumer, but cancelled the check before the consumer could cash it.
In all, 10 consumers made down payments to the defendants for services they never received, including one Blue Springs couple that paid $5,950. To date, the defendants have not provided full refunds to consumers who paid for but did not receive the home repair services.
Nixon is requesting that the court issue an injunction to prevent the defendants from continuing to defraud Missouri consumers. The Attorney General is also seeking a court order requiring the defendants to pay full restitution to all consumers who paid them for services that they never received, appropriate civil penalties and all court costs in the case.