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Illinois Attorney General alleges manufacturer bilked consumers of $90,000 as shutdown loomed

 

CHICAGO, IL – Attorney General Lisa Madigan filed suit against a defunct south suburban home improvement supply company for failing to refund Cook County homeowners more than $90,000 in down payments for orders that were never fulfilled after the company went out of business.

The lawsuit was filed in Cook County Circuit Court against Family Security Doors & Windows Inc., which operated at 11706 S. Mayfield Ave. in Alsip. The suit names company principals Robert E. Starr, of Worth, his brother Michael Starr, of Chicago, Thomas J. Abbott, of Chicago, and Gordon Jackson, of Oak Forest.

Family Security had been in business since 1989 fabricating, selling, redistributing and installing household fixtures, including replacement doors, security doors, screen doors, windows and window coverings. The company sold directly to homeowners and businesses in Cook County.

Madigan alleges Family Security solicited and accepted down payments from consumers for new business throughout the summer of 2011, even though previous orders already faced lengthy delivery and installation delays as the company prepared to shut down. The lawsuit alleges that beginning in at least April 2011 the company was preparing to liquidate as it struggled to meet debt and operating costs, yet it continued to accept new business.

When the business finally closed in September 2011, Family Security had accepted down payments from more than 150 consumers totaling more than $90,000 that it would never fulfill. Customers who were able to reach company representatives after the closure were told services would not be provided nor would they be refunded for their down payments, which totaled as much as $1,000 per person.

 “While the company’s operators were actively preparing to shut down, they continued to take customers’ down payments even though it was evident that the company couldn’t fulfill the orders already on its books,” Madigan said. “Now hundreds of consumers who’d been waiting months for their orders are out thousands of dollars for nothing in return.”     

The lawsuit asks the court to ban the defendants from owning or operating a home repair business in Illinois, seeks refunds for consumers and asks the court to impose civil penalties.

Assistant Attorneys General Janice Parker and Jonathan Reischl are handling the case for Madigan’s Consumer Fraud Bureau.

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Welcome to CopyLine Magazine! The first issue of CopyLine Magazine was published in November, 1990, by Editor & Publisher Juanita Bratcher. CopyLine’s main focus is on the political arena – to inform our readers and analyze many of the pressing issues of the day - controversial or otherwise. Our objectives are clear – to keep you abreast of political happenings and maneuvering in the political arena, by reporting and providing provocative commentaries on various issues. For more about CopyLine Magazine, CopyLine Blog, and CopyLine Television/Video, please visit juanitabratcher.com, copylinemagazine.com, and oneononetelevision.com. Bratcher has been a News/Reporter, Author, Publisher, and Journalist for 33 years. She is the author of six books, including “Harold: The Making of a Big City Mayor” (Harold Washington), Chicago’s first African-American mayor; and “Beyond the Boardroom: Empowering a New Generation of Leaders,” about John Herman Stroger, Jr., the first African-American elected President of the Cook County Board. Bratcher is also a Poet/Songwriter, with 17 records – produced by HillTop Records of Hollywood, California. Juanita Bratcher Publisher

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