June 2, 2005
CONSUMER PROTECTION DIVISION ISSUES CEASE AND DESIST
ORDER AGAINST MONTGOMERY COUNTY BUILDER
Attorney General J. Joseph Curran, Jr. announced today that his
Consumer Protection Division has issued a cease and desist order
requiring two related home builders and their principals to pay
$140,203 in restitution for taking deposits and payments from consumers,
failing to complete construction or refund the payments, and misusing
a home builder registration number.
According to charges filed by the Division, LaDova Heights, LLC
and Rehco Company, Inc. of Bethesda, Maryland are owned by Robert
Hahn and David Hahn. The Division’s order found that LaDova
Heights, LLC, an unregistered builder, entered into contracts with
consumers to construct homes in Prince George’s County, accepted
payments from those consumers, and promised to complete the homes.
To date, however, LaDova Heights, LLC has not completed the homes
or refunded the monies paid. The charges further allege that LaDova
Heights used the registration number of Rehco Company, Inc. in
its contracts with consumers.
The Division found that LaDova Heights, LLC violated the Maryland
New Home Deposits Act by failing to place deposits and payments
into an escrow account or having a surety bond to cover the deposit,
and violated the Home Builder Registration Act by acting as a new
home builder while not registered as required by law and by fraudulently
using the registration number of another builder. The Division
also found that Rehco Company, Inc. fraudulently allowed its registration
number to be used.
Under Maryland law, home builders must be registered before they
can enter into contracts to build homes for consumers, and they
must protect a customer’s deposit until the house is completed
or they refund the deposit," said Attorney General Curran.
Curran urged consumers to check with the Home Builder Registration
Unit of his office before putting down a deposit on a home.
The Division’s ex parte cease and desist order immediately
bars LaDova Heights, LLC, Rehco Company, Inc., Robert Hahn, and
David Hahn from acting or offering to act as a home builder in
the State of Maryland, and orders them to pay restitution and costs.
At a hearing in August, the Division will ask for an order requiring
LaDova Heights, LLC, Rehco Company, Inc., and their principals,
Robert Hahn and David Hahn to pay a $1,000 civil penalty per day
of unlawful practice.
The public hearing on the charges will be held at the Maryland
Office of Administrative Hearings, 11101 Gilroy Road, Hunt Valley,
Md., on August 26, 2005. Consumers who may have had problems with
LaDova Heights, LLC, Rehco Company, Inc., Robert Hahn, or David
Hahn should call the Home Builder Registration Unit immediately
at (410) 576-6573 or toll-free 1-877-259-4525.