May 13, 2002
Sean Caine, 410-576-6357
ORDERS ANNE ARUNDEL MARINE CONSTRUCTION CONTRACTOR TO REFUND CUSTOMERS'
General J. Joseph Curran, Jr. announced today that his Consumer
Protection Division has issued a cease and desist order against
a marine construction contractor who took money from customers to
build piers, sea walls and other structures but did not build the
structures. Hoffman's Marine Construction, Inc., also known as Hoffman
Diving and Construction, and its president, David Hoffman, both
of 1605 Coralie Court, Pasadena, were also ordered to refund all
payments they took from consumers who did not receive the promised
to the charges, Hoffman, 49, and his company agreed to provide marine
construction goods and services for residential customers. The Division
determined that Hoffman violated the Maryland Consumer Protection
Act by failing to provide the services as promised and refusing
to refund customers' payments. At least 14 consumers are owed a
collective total of $47,040. The Division also determined that Hoffman,
who met with consumers in their homes to sell the services, violated
the Maryland Door-to-Door Sales Act by failing to advise consumers
of their right to cancel the transactions within three business
days of their purchase.
the Division found that since Hoffman offered services on land adjacent
to residential dwellings, the services constituted home improvement
services. Although Hoffman represented to consumers that he and
his company were licensed home improvement contractors or subcontractors,
neither he nor his company held a valid home improvement contractor's
or subcontractor's license with the State.
have the right to expect that they will receive services they paid
for, or receive a refund," said Attorney General Curran.
Division's ex parte cease and desist order immediately bars Hoffman
and his company from offering home improvement services unless they
obtain a valid home improvement license and from entering into any
contracts for the door-to-door sale of marine construction goods
or services unless they inform consumers of their cancellation rights.
The order also bars Hoffman and companies from offering marine construction
goods and services unless they first either post a surety bond or
letter of credit with the Division, which would allow any consumer
who suffered a loss in connection with a purchase from Hoffman to
file a claim for the loss.