NJ Home Improvement Swindler Gets Busted
A New Jersey businessman who sells, installs and repairs blinds and draperies will have to pay more than $350,000 in consumer restitution and civil penalties after a Judge ruled he violated the State’s Consumer Fraud Act, and Home Improvement Contractor’s Registration Act.
Mitchell Poller of North Caldwell was found guilty of committing multiple violations of consumer protection laws, including failing to provide contracted-for services, not returning deposits or down payments when services were not provided, not delivering furniture that consumers had purchased, and performing home improvement contracting without being registered with the State.
“Poller offered to install and repair draperies but in reality he fleeced consumers through his systemic pattern of fraud and lies, he broke laws that are in place to protect consumers, and we have held him accountable for the frauds he committed,” says Attorney General Jeff Chiesa.
An investigation by the State Division of Consumer Affairs uncovered numerous complaints that had been filed by defrauded consumers.
Poller conducted business under many different names, including American Draperies and Blinds, American Draperies and Blind Company, Countrywide Draperies and Blinds, Country Wide Draperies and Blinds, Affordable Draperies and Blinds, Affordable Drapery and Blind Company, and The Drapery and Blind Company.
In some of the filed complaints, consumers said Poller failed to return items taken from their homes for cleaning.
Eric T. Kanefsky, the Director of the State Division of Consumer Affairs says, “This case shows why consumers need to verify whether someone is registered as a home improvement contractor, as part of their research and due diligence, and consumers should call us and inquire whether any consumer complaints have been filed against a business.”
Any NJ resident who thinks they have been cheated or scammed by a business, or suspect any other form of consumer abuse, can file a complaint with the New Jersey Division of Consumer Affairs by visiting its website, or by calling 1-800-242-5846 (toll free within New Jersey).