Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost has filed separate lawsuits against two Franklin County home-improvement contractors with a history of changing the names of their companies to counter bad reviews and trick Ohioans into doing business with them.

“Although many home-improvement contractors do a great job, some prove to be less than reputable,” AG Yost said. “Changing the name of your business doesn’t mean you get a clean slate. My Consumer Protection Section is here to protect homeowners from such fraudsters.”

Yost’s lawsuit against contractor Jimmie Wells Jr., filed in Franklin County Common Pleas Court, maintains that Wells did business under the trade names Fine Line Imaging and JUCO, a limited liability company (LLC).

Yost also said Wells also did business under the name of Five Star Painting, and, while there is Five Star Painting registered to someone else with the Ohio Secretary of State, Wells had no relation to the registered company.

Yost also said Wells sold home-improvement goods and services to consumers in several Ohio counties. He would accept deposits but, in some cases, fail to deliver or make a full refund. As alleged in the complaint, when Wells did perform work, it was shoddy and he failed to correct it. Furthermore, Wells failed to inform consumers of their right to cancel their transactions, as required by the Home Solicitation Sales Act.

The suit estimates the known consumer damages at $11,000.

The second lawsuit, filed in the same court, names 1st Pick Home Improvement, Cowans Home Improvement – both LLCs registered with the state – and Aaron Cowans, who ran the companies. The complaint alleged that defendants, similar to the Wells case, failed to deliver goods and services, failed to make a full refund when requested, and performed shoddy work.

The suit estimates the known consumer damages at $46,000.

Cowans may still be doing business under the 1st Pick Home Improvement name or as a new entity 1st Pick Basement Finishing.

If you believe you have been victimized by one of these contractors or through another unfair or deceptive business practice, contact the Ohio Attorney General’s Office at www.OhioProtects.org or 800-282-0515.