Visits paid to the Fair Lawn address listed with the state for home improvement contractors A-1 American Construction, A-1 American Chimney and Brick City Chimney Service and Cleaning turned up no trace of any such companies.
All three businesses are on a list of home improvement companies linked to John Kot and Gabriel DaSilva, Jr., who both face a lawsuit from New Jersey Attorney General Jeffrey Chiesa and the Division of Consumer Affairs for allegedly defrauding dozens of consumers.
"We allege that these defendants defrauded consumers of their hard-earned money," Chiesa said in a statement. "We're working to obtain restitution for these consumers and to prohibit Kot, DaSilva and their companies from engaging in any future violations of the Consumer Fraud Act and related laws, so that no one else is harmed."
According to the lawsuit, filed last week in Bergen County Superior Court, Kot and DaSilva violated numerous consumer protection laws including the state Advertising Regulations Act, the Home Improvement Regulations Act, the Contractor Registration Regulations Act, the Contractors' Registration Act and the Consumer Fraud Act.
Nearly 70 consumers have filed complaints against one of the many similarly-named companies allegedly used by Kot and DaSilva to perpetuate deceptive business practices that include, among other things, performing home improvement work in a manner that created unsafe conditions, refusing to return deposits for work that was never performed and failing to obtain required state and local permits.
Four of the five registered home improvement businesses allegedly used by Kot and DaSilva were on file with the state under Fair Lawn mailing addresses. They include A-1 American Construction, Inc. (39-26 Broadway); A-1 American Chimney Limited Liability Company (39-26 Broadway); Brick City Chimney Service, L.L.C. (2906 Broadway); and Brick City Chimney Service and Cleaning, Inc. (39-26 Broadway).
Neither borough business registration records nor property tax records for the 39-26 Broadway address show any evidence that the home improvement companies allegedly run by Kot and DaSilva were ever located there. The address registered to Kot for Brick City Chimney Service, L.L.C. -- 2906 Broadway -- is not an actual borough address.
The owners of American Graphics Systems, a family-owned printing and graphics company that has long been located at 39-26 Broadway, said no such home improvement company has ever shared an office at their location. American Graphics does, however, share the address with the law offices of Steven Schechter, Fair Lawn's municipal court judge.
One of American Graphics' owners said that over the years the store had received numerous calls and mailed letters addressed to the allegedly fraudulent home improvement businesses, but that it had repeatedly refused them.
"The mailman knows not to bring them here anymore," she said.
Consumers who believe they have been cheated or scammed by a home improvement contractor, or suspect any other form of consumer abuse, can file a complaint with the State Division of Consumer Affairs by visiting its website or by calling 973-504-6200.