Contractor banned in MA after home improvement scams

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Richard Capachione to pay $150,000 in restitution for home improvement scam affecting dozens of consumers

BOSTON (WWLP) — A home improvement contractor is banned from doing business in Massachusetts after a settlement with the attorney general’s office.

Attorney General Maura Healey announced on Tuesday that Richard Capachione, an Acton home improvement contractor, has been banned from owning or operating a construction business and will pay $150,000 in restitution following allegations that he allegedly ripped off dozens of landlords in Massachusetts.

Capachione is required to close its three businesses, New England Hardscapes, Inc., Aqua Outdoor Environments and R and R Consulting, LLC under the consent judgment registered in the Superior Court of Suffolk. Since 2013, Capachione has provided construction services such as the installation and construction of swimming pools and pool decks, and the construction of outdoor living areas and retaining walls.

The investigation began in 2019 after the attorney general’s office received complaints from consumers alleging they were paying for home improvement projects, only to have those projects remain unfinished. Capachione eventually filed for bankruptcy.

The AG’s office alleged that Capachione violated state consumer protection laws and the Home Improvement Contractors Act by entering into written agreements with new customers who lacked key information required by the law, including the contractor’s registration number, a detailed description of the work to be done, the date the project was to start and be substantially complete, and note that the contractor had to be registered with the Office of Consumer and Business Affairs (OCABR) of the State.

“Renovating a home can be a massive and expensive endeavor, and it’s devastating when properties are left in worse condition than when they were started, with money spent on unfinished work,” said AG Healey . “This settlement brings thousands of dollars to Massachusetts homeowners who profited from this contractor’s deceptive practices.”

Guidelines: Hiring a Home Improvement Contractor

  • Buy wisely and do your research. Ask friends and neighbors for recommendations of contractors they have used and trust and always ask for referrals from contractors. Make sure your contractor is registered with the Office of Consumer and Business Regulationwhich will allow you to check the history of complaints.
  • Solicitations. Be extra careful if a contractor solicits business over the phone or by knocking on the door.
  • Get it in writing. Make sure you get a written contract or price estimate that details the work that will be done. For more complex projects, ask for a detailed quote.
  • Permit. Your registered home improvement contractor should obtain all building permits required by your city or town. If you withdraw the permits yourself, you are impairing your ability to recover in the event of a problem.
  • The initial costs. Beware of contractors who demand the full price of the work up front. For most home improvement projects over $1,000, consumers cannot be required to make a deposit of more than one-third of the project price upfront, except for custom material orders.
  • Contact the AG Office Consumer Assistance Hotline with any questions 617-727-8400 or file a complaint online here.
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