New Jersey Cracks Down on Consumer Fraud: Announces 2023 Enforcement Highlights
New Jersey Cracks Down on Consumer Fraud: Attorney General Platkin and Consumer Affairs Division Announce 2023 Enforcement Highlights
Targeted Initiatives Protect Consumers from Unfair Business Practices in High-Complaint Industries
(Morris County Businesses Included Below)
MORRIS COUNTY, NJ – Attorney General Matthew J. Platkin, alongside the Division of Consumer Affairs, reviewed the 2023 enforcement actions against unfair and deceptive business practices in New Jersey. These initiatives were aimed at industries with a high volume of consumer complaints, including home improvement, public movers, motor vehicle sales, predatory towing, and healthcare service firms.
"The Division of Consumer Affairs [...] works hard all year to root out unconscionable and deceptive business practices and hold violators accountable,” said Attorney General Platkin.
The Division's strategic enforcement, including targeted crackdowns and undercover operations, has been pivotal in ensuring fairness and transparency in the marketplace.
Cari Fais, Acting Director of the Division of Consumer Affairs, emphasized the Office of Consumer Protection's role in these efforts, focusing on industries with widespread consumer dissatisfaction.
Home Improvement Contractors
High on the Division's complaint list each year, home improvement contractors (HICs) were a key focus. The Division resolved 133 cases against HICs, involving alleged violations like unregistered operations and failing to provide detailed contracts. Total settlements included $2.36 million in penalties and restitution.
Morris County Businesses
- All County Pipeline and Excavation Inc d/b/a ACP&E Enterprise Inc. and Eric Charles, Parsippany
- Calinda Holdings, LLC d/b/a PWC Construction and Renovations, LLC and Patrick W. Calinda, Madison
- Jamie Talmadge d/b/a Champion Paving, Lake Hopatcong
- Joseph's Paving, LLC and Brook Joseph, Rockaway
- Marquis Construction, LLC and Raymond Calogero, Lake Hopatcong
- NJ Reliable Construction and Claudio Nati, Long Valley
- Phil Perrotta t/a Perrotta Built Homes, Kinnelon
Hundreds of complaints are filed yearly against moving companies for issues like damaged deliveries and overcharging. "Operation Safe Move" targeted unlicensed movers, resulting in 34 companies receiving Notices of Violations and fines totaling $5,000 for most violators.
Morris County Businesses
- Daniel Silva Moving & Travel, Dover
- Stack It & Pack It Movers and Delivery LLC, Pine Brook
- Smith & Kids Hauling LLC, Pine Brook
Complaints related to motor vehicle sales and advertising frequently top the Division's list. Investigations into 15 auto dealerships for practices like failing to honor advertised prices and charging excessive fees led to settlements totaling $478,308.59. (No Morris County Businesses)
Investigations into 12 towing companies found violations of the Consumer Fraud Act and New Jersey’s Predatory Towing Prevention law. Settlements totaled $84,818.32, addressing issues like unauthorized fees and improper towing practices.
Morris County Businesses Cited
- Ajaco Towing, Inc., Parsippany
Health Care Service Firms
A sweep targeting Health Care Service Firms, which place caregivers in homes, resulted in $173,500 in penalties against 24 firms. Violations included improper record keeping and sending unqualified caregivers. (No Morris County Businesses)
Consumers who suspect violations of the New Jersey Consumer Fraud Act can file online complaints or call 1-800-242-5846 for more information. The Division's proactive measures continue to safeguard consumer interests and uphold market integrity in New Jersey.