CHARLESTON – Attorney General Darrell McGraw's office has reached a settlement with an unlicensed Dunbar contractor after his office received dozens of complaints.
Last week, McGraw announced the settlement with Charles Roth. Since 2001, the AG's office has received complaints alleging Roth had abandoned home improvement jobs, left them unfinished or with defects in need of repair.
McGraw's Consumer Protection Division sued Roth in 2005 in Putnam Circuit Court after he failed to resolve consumer complaints.
Using the names Valley Pools & Spas or VP Enterprises and others in advertising, Roth would visit consumers' homes and submit low bids to install pools, do waterproofing jobs and other jobs, according to McGraw's office.
"After hearing Roth's low prices and promises of '15-year' warranties, consumers eagerly signed contracts with him and made large down payments," a news release from McGraw's office said. "Many consumers complained that once the work began and Roth had received significant payments on his contracts, he became increasingly difficult to reach.
"Others complained that when Roth did finish a job, the work was shoddy -- equipment was installed backward, the pools leaked and the concrete crumbled."
Also, Roth used two contractor license numbers that were invalid, according to McGraw's office, and actually had his contractor license revoked in 2002.
In the order entered by Putnam Circuit Judge O.C. "Hobby" Spaulding, Roth is enjoined from engaging in the home improvement business and must pay $80,000 in civil penalties and restitution to consumers. Roth's first payment of $10,000 was due April 6. Then, Roth has to pay $300 monthly installments until the judgment is satisfied.
"Some contractors view consumers as sitting ducks, ready to pay out their hard-earned dollars, only to be deceived," McGraw said in the press release. "Consumers should be wary of low bids and big promises, especially during the spring building season."