Crete Roofing Company Named In Fraud Lawsuit

 
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Old 11-17-2005, 09:28 AM   #1
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Crete Roofing Company Named In Fraud Lawsuit


Prairie State Roofing, of Crete, was named Tuesday in a lawsuit by the Cook County State's Attorney Consumer Fraud Division.

The complaint charges that the company and its owner, Scott Beutler, took $3,000 from an 83-year-old woman to replace the roof on her home even though he didn't have an Illinois roofing contractor's license. The complaint also charges Beutler failed to complete the project or to refund the money.

The lawsuit seeks a refund for the woman, a $50,000 civil penalty and to permanently bar Beutler from engaging in such conduct.


http://www.dailysouthtown.com/southt...biz/161bd5.htm
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Old 11-17-2005, 10:53 AM   #2
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Re: Crete Roofing Company Named In Fraud Lawsuit


What? No time? The guy ought to be placed in a gibbet.

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Old 11-17-2005, 02:33 PM   #3
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Re: Crete Roofing Company Named In Fraud Lawsuit


And I roofed Lavery's pPub back in the good ol days of employment for someone else.
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Old 11-18-2005, 12:08 PM   #4
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Re: Crete Roofing Company Named In Fraud Lawsuit


Teetor, IL is not as strict on their laws as FL is. Honestly I think the laws are fine how they are but wish they'd be enforced a little bit more. More restrictions will only make it hardr for the honest business man to operate. Enforcing the laws we already have will actually make it easier for the honest business man to operate IMO.

I feel the "Crete Woman" is partially at fault for what ever occured as well for not performing her due dillgigence before hiring the contractor. It's funny how all this could have been avoided by checking for the very license she is now suing because he doesn't posess.
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Old 11-18-2005, 12:56 PM   #5
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Re: Crete Roofing Company Named In Fraud Lawsuit


I bet she didnt pursue the license, but the "contractor" that took her money and ran. State's attorney most likely pressed the issue on the license.

How could we urge the powers that be to enforce the laws that are already in place?
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Old 11-18-2005, 04:35 PM   #6
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Re: Crete Roofing Company Named In Fraud Lawsuit


Do they actually have the guy located and served? Is this something that is going to happen, like he will show up or is it just a lawsuit with no chance of ever being made good upon?
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Old 11-18-2005, 04:44 PM   #7
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Re: Crete Roofing Company Named In Fraud Lawsuit


It is the State's Attorney Office that is sueing the contractor. This is not the home owner suing the contractor. This is big time, Mike.

Aaron, you pose a good question. I guess the only thing we can do is do the foot work for the government, and complain repeatedly about every contractor out there who is breaking the law. Regardless if that law is paying cash under the table, operating unlicensed, or operating purposely unsafe.

I was driving down the street one time and saw some guys shingling without felt. GAh! I was so pissed that it was in my home town that I called the building dept to complain but nothing happened.
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Old 11-18-2005, 04:50 PM   #8
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Re: Crete Roofing Company Named In Fraud Lawsuit


Quote:
Originally Posted by Grumpy
It is the State's Attorney Office that is sueing the contractor. This is not the home owner suing the contractor. This is big time, Mike.
Attorney General or not, it doesn't mean anything unless the guy is a real citizen with something to lose. They can sue him for $50,000 or $50,000,000, the chances of collecting anything ever might be about the same either way.
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Old 11-18-2005, 04:51 PM   #9
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Re: Crete Roofing Company Named In Fraud Lawsuit


Aaron, I guess the only thing we can do is to educate the public on the importance of licensing and insurance. I make it a point to show my license and insurance during every estimate. I make it a point to explain the differences between a limited and unlimited license. I make it a point to explain about the testing process and why a license is important. I make it a point to explain that in the city of Chicago a permit is required and there are ALOT of self proclaimed roofers operating without licenses.

I encourage them to never hire a roofer who can not show his license and never hire a contractor who can not show his insurance. I then show them the web address printed on the license and tell them they can check the validity of the license online. I show them the phone number on the insurance and tell them to call and check if my insurance is still valid. I then explain all the ways a insurance certifiate can be forged.

I explain to the customer that I am making a big deal about it because it is a big deal.
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Old 11-18-2005, 05:42 PM   #10
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Re: Crete Roofing Company Named In Fraud Lawsuit


Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike Finley
Attorney General or not, it doesn't mean anything unless the guy is a real citizen with something to lose. They can sue him for $50,000 or $50,000,000, the chances of collecting anything ever might be about the same either way.
You are right Mike... maybe the only thing accomplished is the guy guys out of business, but that is enough for me. It is my assumption that the roof didn't cost $50,000. It is my assumption that this number is some kind of punetive damages in addition to the money the contractor stole. Therefore it really doesn't matter if the customer gets the whole 50k. In fact I don't feel the customer deserves 50k, if the monetary loss isn't 50k. Sure she deserves something for her pain and suffering and lost time.... but the average job is $5k... therefore she doesn't deserve 10x that number as damages IMO.

I wonder if this guy used high pressure, or low balled to get the job.
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Old 11-18-2005, 06:42 PM   #11
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Re: Crete Roofing Company Named In Fraud Lawsuit


Hey, I'm all for knock a scumbag out of business. My point was, is it really going to knock him out of business or just another case that sounds really good to the public but in reality is meaningless.

Can the guy start another corporation and get a license? Can he use his wife's name, his buddies? It's so rare for any of these lawsuits to have real teeth and be meaningful.

That's why I was asking the questions of you, in your opinion are the results of this article going to be for real, is this going to be something different then normal or just more of the same?
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Old 11-18-2005, 06:43 PM   #12
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Re: Crete Roofing Company Named In Fraud Lawsuit


We provide copies of our insurance with our estimates. We also point out that the insurance is specifically for roofing. (It costs a lot more to have, the lowballers will just get carpenter's insurance which is cheap).
Every single township has it's own licensing requirements, so we have to deal with over 20 municipalities....ugh! a huge pain in the but, but we do it. We have no tolerance for the jerks that don't do things correctly, and make sure we point those important things out to HOs. It's OK to lose a job to someone who cares about their business, (keeps us on our toes!) but it pi$$es us off to lose it to a fly-by-night!!!!!
If people are educated and still choose to go for the lowballer, well then I'm with Grumpy and think that they are partially to blame!
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Old 11-18-2005, 06:57 PM   #13
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Re: Crete Roofing Company Named In Fraud Lawsuit


Quote:
Originally Posted by paroofer
If people are educated and still choose to go for the lowballer, well then I'm with Grumpy and think that they are partially to blame!
Not only 'partially', - - but 'equally' to blame, - - if both the contractor AND the homeowner would get FINED for ILLEGITIMATE deals (of the 'fly-by-nite' variety), - - business would run much more smoothly for all of us.
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Old 11-19-2005, 10:59 AM   #14
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Re: Crete Roofing Company Named In Fraud Lawsuit


Mike you are right more than likley he will just open up shop under a different name. Perhaps the next step is criminal charges for fraud.

The licensing process is a two step process in the state of IL. First you as a person have to take an pass the exam. Then you can apply your license, as a qualifying party, to any company. You can apply your qualifying party credentials to up to 3 company's simultaneously. Therefore for a company to be a licensed they must employ a qualifying party.

I mention this because yes he can open up another corporation in his wife's name and then she can go study and take the exam and then she can apply her credentials to the new corporation. Then the new corporation can hire the guy as an employee of the corporation and BAM he is back in business. The whole process would take about 3-6 months to get setup legitimately, but then again this guys doesn't do things legitimately.
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Old 11-19-2005, 11:00 AM   #15
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Re: Crete Roofing Company Named In Fraud Lawsuit


Quote:
Originally Posted by paroofer
It's OK to lose a job to someone who cares about their business, (keeps us on our toes!) but it pi$$es us off to lose it to a fly-by-night!!!!!
Amen to that.
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Old 11-19-2005, 11:40 AM   #16
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Re: Crete Roofing Company Named In Fraud Lawsuit


Quote:
Originally Posted by Grumpy
The licensing process is a two step process in the state of IL. First you as a person have to take an pass the exam. Then you can apply your license, as a qualifying party, to any company. You can apply your qualifying party credentials to up to 3 company's simultaneously. Therefore for a company to be a licensed they must employ a qualifying party.
My hat would be off to IL if they do have a process in place to stop the loop holes.
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Old 11-19-2005, 06:15 PM   #17
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Re: Crete Roofing Company Named In Fraud Lawsuit


Grumpy, back at the beginning of the thread you said something about the states attorney issue being 'big time'. I don't really agree with that, a criminal proceeding will be one shot in the arm, those guys are to busy to stay on what this guy deserves. At least civil action will more than likely suck the blood out of him, however, Mikes right about him just changing his run name.

Can't we just cut their hands off and be done with it.

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Old 11-21-2005, 12:07 PM   #18
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Re: Crete Roofing Company Named In Fraud Lawsuit


I dunno, from my point of view I'd rather be sued by someone rather than the state's attorney office. If you think about it the states attorney's office really has unlimted resources at their disposal. Also at the same time if it is an election year they are probably going to highly publicize the event for higher poll ratings.

My point is If they want to be tough, not many people can be tougher than the State's Attorney's office.
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Old 11-21-2005, 02:28 PM   #19
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Re: Crete Roofing Company Named In Fraud Lawsuit


“a $50,000 civil penalty and to permanently bar Beutler from engaging in such conduct." They can't bar him from earning a wage roofing and in CA it's up to the Registrar of Contractors to be aware (loophole time) of the restriction and prevent him from attaining a new license. If the civil penalty is actually a fine payable to the state It's possible he could do some time to pay the fine. But I don't know jack about the local laws, maybe he will just file as bankrupt and go to work under another name.

The saddest thing is, that customer is probably going to be soured to ALL contractors. I've had a couple of customers give me a hard time because of some bad beat they got years or even decades in the past.

I also agree that she got what she deserved IF she new he had no license & insurance, they both took their chances and both found out why you don't try to cheat. But we all know that building code and contractor license law are in place SOLEY for the protection of the public and can only be enforced against contractors and those trying to do business as a contractor. They would have to prosecute sleazy customers under some kind of conspiracy or civil malfeasance statute and that would be really bad press in any year, election or no election.

Do you know why we can’t cut offenders hands off any more? They would be eligible for disability, welfare, SSI and half a dozen other “programs” AND still scab jobs away from the rest of us just on sympathy.

Everyone needs to do as Grumpy and Paroofer or we also have to assume responsibility for not making our potential customers aware of the risk they take if they don't at least choose a responsible contractor.

I had planed on only giving my 2 cents worth but with CA's workers comp and liability being what it is, I'm going to have to say that it's closer to $2000.02. But that can be offset if I post more often!

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