NY Attorney General takes action against Metro Fence: Matt's Memo
Six months after our NBC 3 Investigation into an Oswego County fence company the New York State Attorney General has taken court action against the owners of Metro Fence. In November, Onondaga County Court Judge Deborah Karalunas signed an order that keeps Richard and Rebecca Mullin from reopening a fencing or home contracting business, unless they can meet a series of conditions.
The Mullins would have to post a $25,000 performance bond with the Attorney General's office to return to business. They would also have to pay restitution of $12,983 to the five home owners included in the court order. Additionally, they would owe $3,000 in civil penalties.
Most of the customers who lodged complaints against Metro Fence do not expect to see their money returned despite the legal action. "I question why more wasn't done. It's just frustrating the Mullins have my money they have other people's money. ," said home owner Brian Brown of Liverpool. "The judgement to me, maybe I'll see that money, maybe I won't. Maybe it will be five years from now before I see it. In my eyes they're walking around with my money with really no punishment."
Brown initially contacted NBC 3 in March of 2016 explaining his effort to retrieve his deposit of $5,000 that was paid in the fall of 2014. At that time, the NY Attorney General Consumer Fraud Bureau had sent Brown what he described as a form letter acknowledging his complaint, but explaining Metro Fence said it was waiting on materials to do the work. After we aired our stories in May, the Attorney General resumed its investigation and contacted several homeowners about their claims.
In the November 25th letter sent to the AG's office lets the consumers know the order signed by the judge does not necessarily mean the consumers will see payments from Metro Fence. The letter states: "This process does not guarantee that your claim will be paid."
If you are a customer of a contractor where you feel you have been wronged you can lodge a complaint by contacting the New York State Attorney General's Bureau of Consumer Fraud s and Protection.
Original story aired on May 2, 2016. "Fence customers say thousands of dollars in deposits gone, no fence installed"
Additional story aired on May 23, 2016. "Fence company owner with outstanding judgments is an elected Albion Town Official"