DENVER — Colorado Attorney General John Suthers announced today that a Denver District Court judge has ordered Glenn Jessen (DOB: 6/18/1969), the former president of Claim Specialists International, Inc., to pay more than $1.7 million in restitution for accepting payment for but not performing roofing work for Denver and Colorado Springs homeowners. The court also ordered Jessen to pay more than $4.2 million in civil penalties and more than $639,000 in costs and fees to the Office of the Attorney General.
“This decision is a victory not only for the hundreds of homeowners in Denver and Colorado Springs who were victimized by Claim Specialists International’s door-to-door scam, but also for consumers across the state,” Suthers said. “My office is committed to sending these types of scam artists and other similar home-repair scammers’ packing. This judgment underlines that home-repair scammers should feel anything but at home in the state of Colorado.”
According to the complaint the state filed against Claim Specialists International and its principals in August 2009, the company offered roofing consulting services and engaged in an aggressive door-to-door scheme to secure roof-repair contracts starting in April 2007. The company targeted homes in the Denver metro area and Colorado Springs following hail storms in an attempt to secure homeowners’ insurance money. The company based its pitch on a free roof inspection and offered insurance claim adjustment services performed by unlicensed public insurance adjustors. Following the insurance claim approval, the company would collect homeowners’ insurance money before performing the roofing work. In nearly 500 instances, the company never completed the work it agreed to perform.
After word of Claim Specialists International’s business practices became public in February 2009, other principals of the company dissolved the business and incorporated as K2 Roofing and Construction Company and continued the business model. Separately, Jessen formed Colorado Roof Exchange in the spring of 2009 and then became involved with SJC Building, Inc., in Aurora, both which have business models similar to Claim Specialists International.
The judge’s order, which followed a 10-day trial in Denver District Court, bars Jessen from owning or operating any home-repair company that engages in door-to-door sales in Colorado
The court entered a default judgment against the business, Claim Specialists International, in October 2010. The company’s other principals, Melissa King, Robert Downey and Mark Baker, settled with the state last year and agreed to pay restitution and stop working in the roofing industry.
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To avoid falling victim to home-repair scams, the Office of the Attorney General advises consumers to:
- Never do business with a contractor who just shows up on your doorstep.
- Never allow a stranger to inspect any part of your home, including letting them inside your home. They could be looking for valuables to steal.
- Get at least three quotes from local contractors for any improvements or repairs on your home. (The local Better Business Bureau is an excellent resource to check out local businesses.)
- Obtain a written agreement from the contractor specifically addressing the work to be done. The contract should include an estimate of how much you will be required to pay for the work.
- Never pay a contractor an advance fee. If a contract insists on early payment for a major project, you can agree to partial payment as the work meets clear benchmarks as laid out in a written contract.
Consumers who encounter door-to-door scams should report them to their local police, sheriff’s department or district attorney’s office. Consumers also can file a report with the Office of the Attorney General via telephone at 1-800-222-4444 or via www.coloradoattorneygeneral.gov/complaint.
For more information on the Office of the Attorney General’s actions against other companies that engaged in deceptive trade practices visit our consumer protection cases page online.