General Settles with Westwood Design Build, Inc.
Company Agrees to Pay Restitution to Consumers
Whose Homes Were Not Built
BALTIMORE, MD (April 3, 2009) - Attorney
General Douglas F. Gansler today announced that his Consumer
Division has reached a settlement with Beltsville-based home builder,
Westwood Design Build, Inc. (Westwood) and the company’s
owners, Michael Conrad and Mary Deitz. In September 2008, the Division
suspended the registration of Westwood for accepting deposits and
payments from consumers in Prince George’s and Anne Arundel
counties and then not building the homes or returning payments.
Westwood also failed to disclose information concerning lawsuits
filed against the company in its home builder registration. Westwood
and its owners consented to a Final Order that requires them to
return all monies received for homes they either did not commence
construction or have not completed.
Under the settlement,
Westwood and its owners have agreed to pay the Division at least
$663,888 in restitution for three consumers
whose homes they failed to build. They also agreed to an injunction
that requires them to stop taking payments for work they do not
perform, to comply with Maryland’s registration requirements
for homebuilders, to post a performance bond with the Division
in the amount of $750,000, and to post a surety bond in the amount
required by Maryland law. In addition, the company and its owners
agreed to pay the Division a $200,000 civil penalty, which reduces
to $20,000 as long as they comply with the terms of the settlement.
The company and its owners also agreed to pay the Division $2,000
for its investigation costs.
“Under Maryland law, a home builder is liable to consumers
for restitution if it fails to build consumers’ homes,” said
Attorney General Gansler. “As a result of this settlement,
consumers whose homes were not constructed will now get compensation.”
Consumers eligible for restitution under the settlement will be
contacted by the Consumer Protection Division. Consumers who may
have had problems with homes built by Westwood or other builders
should contact the Home Builder Registration Unit at (410)576-6573
or toll free at (877)259-4525. Consumers can also email the unit
To determine if a builder is registered with the Attorney General’s
Office, visit www.oag.state.md.us/homebuilder or contact the Home Builder Registration Unit.