LIBERAL, Kan. (KSNW) — A businessman, who owns a home improvement business in Liberal, Kansas, has been ordered to pay $10,000 in restitution for alleged violations of the Kansas Consumer Protection Act (KCPA), according to The Office of Attorney General Derek Schmidt.
The Office of Attorney General Derek Schmidt states Aureliano Pena, who owns Aureliano’s Home Improvement, agreed in a consent judgment to repay $10,000 to a southwest Kansas consumer. Pena was also ordered by Shawnee County District Court Judge Teresa Watson to pay for the cost of the investigation and to comply with state laws in the future.
The Office of Attorney General Derek Schmidt said its investigation revealed that on March 1, 2019, Pena accepted a proposal to remodel and repair the interior and exterior of a Liberal home. Pena was paid $20,000 for the project, partially demolished the residence’s interior, and then abandoned the project. The $10,000 in restitution represents the amount of work that was not performed on the project.
The Office of Attorney General Derek Schmidt says Pena is alleged to have violated the KCPA by:
- Misrepresenting the work that would be performed and abandoning the project before completion after receiving advance payment.
- Failed to pay subcontractors for replacement and repair of electrical and plumbing that did not meet building codes.
- Willfully taking advantage of a consumer who could not protect their interest and failure to provide a material benefit in compliance with the contract with the consumer.
KSN reached out to Pena for his response. He said the home had been damaged in a fire and that as he worked on the house, he found the damage was much worse than was first visible.
Pena said he told the customer that it would cost more than initially expected, but the customer did not want to pay extra. Pena said he did the amount of work that was paid for and then walked away.
He said his attorney advised him that he would win if the case went to court but that fighting the case would cost him more than if he just took the consent judgment.
Assistant Attorney General Melanie Jack of Schmidt’s Consumer Protection and Antitrust Division litigated the case against Pena.
The Office of Attorney General Derek Schmidt has tips on staying safe from consumer fraud. To view them, click here.