Judge orders owner of Hudson-based construction company to pay … – Akron Beacon Journal
The owner of a Hudson-based company was not only ordered to pay $625,873 to 19 customers he reportedly defrauded, but also must pay nearly $1.8 million in civil penalties.
According to information from the attorney general’s office, Judge Michael Russo of the Cuyahoga County Common Pleas court ordered Neil Wolfe of Neil Construction to pay around $2.4 million in connection to the state’s lawsuit against Wolfe and Neil Construction, filed in February 2021.
Neil Construction, according to information from the attorney general’s office, broke Ohio’s consumer protection laws at least 71 times. As a result, Wolfe was ordered to pay $1.775 million in civil penalties, or $25,000 per statute violation.
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This lawsuit stemmed from an investigation by Attorney General Dave Yost’s Consumer Protection Section that found that Wolfe would take customers’ down payments for home-improvement work. According to information from the attorney general’s office, Wolfe would either perform no work, shoddy work or incomplete work. He also reportedly failed to obtain permits, failed to register as a contractor, wrote unfair and one-sided contracts, and stalled and evaded other legal obligations.
According to information from the attorney general’s office, in October 2021, Judge Russo issued a preliminary injunction order against Wolfe. At the request of Yost’s office, a receiver was appointed to oversee Neil Construction. By March 2022, after Wolfe had repeatedly flouted a ruling by the judge, Neil Construction was ordered shut down.
In winding down the business, the receiver determined that consumers were owed $663,300, but the company had assets totaling only about $37,000 for distribution. The judge’s restitution order against Wolfe personally – $625,873 – covers the difference.
Wolfe is currently serving three years in the Belmont Correctional Institution for a criminal theft conviction in a separate case involving a consumer he defrauded.
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Reporter April Helms can be reached at email@example.com