“Roofing Police” Under Arrest; $7.7M Judgement Filed Against NJ Contractor
A Garwood man is barred from managing or owning any business in New Jersey after the Attorney General and State Division of Consumer Affairs announced a $7.7 million judgement against him. Under terms of the judgement, John Kot and the companies, including Roofing Police, Inc., can no longer perform home improvement work. in the Garden State.
"These defendants allegedly left consumers with shoddy work, broken promises and warranties that were ignored, often while using business names or language on their websites that implied they had some connection to government or police work," said Attorney General Jeff Chiesa. "We have held them accountable by obtaining a judgment that provides for consumer restitution and civil penalties, and which prohibits them from performing home improvement work, or even owning or managing any business in New Jersey."
Under the judgement, Kot, 41, and the various home improvement companies he operated, were found to have engaged in conduct which comprises 1,542 violations of the State Consumer Fraud Act, Contractors' Registration Act, Contractor Registration Regulations, Home Improvement Regulations and Advertising Regulations.
Kot and the companies are required to pay $7.7 million, including $150,000 in consumer restitution, $7.5 million in civil penalties, $38,000 for the State's attorney's fees and $30,000 for the State's investigative costs.
Before hiring a home improvement contractor, New Jersey consumers are urged to:
Obtain the contractor's State registration number, which always begins "13VH."
- Contact the Division of Consumer Affairs to learn whether the contractor's registration is still valid. Call the Division’s License Verification Line at 973-273-8090, or check the Division's database of all 43,000 registered home improvement contractors.
- Demand a copy of the contractor's commercial general liability insurance policy.
- Contact the insurer to learn whether the policy is still valid.
- Run internet searches to see if there are online complaints against the contractor.
Consumers who believe they have been cheated or scammed by a business, or suspect any other form of consumer abuse, can file a complaint with the State Division of Consumer Affairs by visiting its website, or by calling 1-800-242-5846 (toll free within New Jersey) or 973-504-6200.