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For Immediate Release
December 30, 2004
Media Contact:
Kevin Enright 410-576-6357

CONSUMER PROTECTION DIVISION ENTERS INTO SETTLEMENTS WITH THREE UNREGISTERED HOME BUILDERS

Attorney General J. Joseph Curran, Jr. announced today that his Consumer Protection Division has entered into settlement agreements with three home builders who have agreed to pay a total of $7,000 to settle allegations that they violated building laws and operated without being registered with Curran’s Home Builder Registration Unit.

One settlement is with Bethel Design Construction, Inc., Bethel Regency Homes, LLC, and their owner, Olugboyega Olufemi Odubanjo, of Beltsville, Maryland. The Division alleged that Bethel Design Construction, Inc. acted as a builder without being registered and that Bethel Regency Homes, LLC fraudulently attempted to obtain a registration.

The second settlement is with Joseph D. Fluri of Timonium, Maryland. The Division alleged that Fluri acted as a new home builder without being registered and falsified a land owner’s affirmation indicating that he was building the home for his own residence.
The third settlement is with Cornerstone Home Builders, Inc. t/a Hoffman Design-Build of Woodstock, Maryland, whom the Division alleges also acted as a new home builder without being registered.

Each company entered into an Assurance of Discontinuance with the Division prohibiting it from acting as a home builder in the State unless registered with the Home Builder Registration Unit. The Assurances also require the companies to submit to arbitration regarding consumer complaints arising prior to the date of the Assurances that cannot be resolved through mediation, using the Division’s arbitration program. Joseph D. Fluri and Cornerstone Home Builders, Inc. each agreed to pay penalties of $1,000 to the Division and Bethel Design Construction, Inc., Bethel Regency Homes, LLC, and Olugboyega Olufemi Odubanjo agreed to jointly pay penalties of $5,000.

" Under Maryland law, home builders must be registered before they can enter into contracts to build homes for consumers," Curran said. He encouraged new home buyers to check whether their builders are registered by contacting the Division’s Home Builder Registration Unit at (410) 576-6573 or toll-free at (877) 259-4525, or by visiting the Attorney General’s website at www.oag.state.md.us/homebuilder.

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