The state Department of Consumer Protection has levied more than $36,000 in civil penalties against a New Britain paving company that was either not doing its work right or not doing it at all.
William Rubenstein, the state’s consumer protection commissioner, issued a decision in the case of Brian Curylo, who was doing business as Hot Top Paving in New Britain.
Rubenstein’s department had issued an administrative complaint in October 2013 charging Curylo with numerous violations of Connecticut’s Home Improvement Act and the Connecticut Unfair Trade Practices Act.
The state agency had received complaints beginning in March 2013 from consumers who had been approached by Curylo’s company, and who had paid it for driveway paving jobs that were either unfinished, overpriced or of inferior quality.
In one case, according to Rubenstein, Hot Top workers began excavating an existing driveway despite being told immediately beforehand that no driveway work was wanted at that time.
In a separate case, Curylo allegedly charged a 68-year-old woman $6,450 for an inferior paving job on her driveway and then returned uninvited for three additional days less than two weeks later. However, that additional work wasn’t geared toward correcting problems with the original job. Instead, Curylo gave the woman three additional bills, which she immediately paid.
“In total, Curylo collected payments totaling $21,050 from the woman for a job that had to be redone correctly by a different contractor who valued the job at less than $4,000,” said Rubenstein.
Many other consumers claimed that Curylo did not complete the work that was contracted and paid for. They also said he did not respond to customers’ requests for a refund of their money.
In the course of its investigation, the state agency also discovered that Curylo had provided false information on his application for a Connecticut home improvement registration by omitting a 2004 felony conviction for conspiracy to commit larceny in the third degree. Because he had obtained his registration through misrepresentation of his criminal history, the state was able to revoke his registration.
All told, Curylo must pay $30,990 in restitution to five consumers he defrauded, as well as another $5,750 in civil penalties.
“This case highlights important points for consumers who hire home improvement contractors,” Rubenstein said in a statement. “Be skeptical of someone who approaches you first. Find someone with good references from people you trust.”•