A Framingham man has been sued and ordered to stop any contracting services without a license after allegedly engaging in home improvement projects without proper registration, failing to complete the work, and misappropriating tens of thousands of dollars from a consumer, Attorney General Martha Coakley announced in a press release Thursday.
The lawsuit filed against Kyle Buckminster last week in Suffolk Superior Court seeks civil penalties and consumer restitution for violations of the Massachusetts Consumer Protection Act, due to allegations he misrepresented himself as a licensed home improvement contractor and abandoned projects for which he had received payment.
As a result of a preliminary injunction, obtained by the Attorney General's Office today, Buckminster is prohibited from soliciting or engaging in any contracting services without proper registration or a license from the state. The court-ordered injunction also prohibits Buckminster from transferring or disposing of any assets while the state’s lawsuit is pending.
“Performing home contracting work without a license puts honest contractors at an unfair competitive disadvantage,” Coakley said in a release. “This lawsuit will help ensure that these deceptive contracting practices do not continue.”
According to the complaint, Buckminster – d/b/a Buckminster Construction, Kyle Buckminster Fine Custom Carpentry and Finishing, Mid-Cape Construction and Fine Custom Carpentry, Blue Ocean Builders, and First Commonwealth Builders – had his home improvement contractor’s license revoked in 2000 and has never held a construction supervisor license. He has solicited work both as a home improvement and general contractor in Massachusetts.
The Attorney General's lawsuit follows findings in August by the Office of Consumer Affairs and Business Regulation that Buckminster had been operating as a home improvement contractor without a license in four matters filed by South Grafton residents in 2011, claiming that Buckminster failed to fulfill his obligations under their home improvement contracts.
The Attorney General's Office alleges that even after Buckminster had been ordered to pay thousands of dollars of penalties and cease engaging in any residential contracting services without appropriate licensure, Buckminster continued to solicit work in Massachusetts by holding himself out as a licensed contractor, and misappropriated more than $40,000 from a fifth individual for a construction project in West Yarmouth. The complaint further alleges that Buckminster failed to pay any of the penalties assessed.
Assistant Attorneys General Jackie Rompre and Gillian Feiner of Coakley’s Consumer Protection Division are handling the case, with assistance from Investigator Monique Cascarano.