The owner of a Jacksonville construction company pleaded guilty to home repair fraud yesterday in Morgan County Court.
45 year old Clint A. Stevens of the 1800 block of Mound Road, owner of C&A Construction, pleaded guilty to home repair fraud, a Class 4 felony. The single charge stems from an arrest by Jacksonville Police on April 12th, 2021 after an investigation.
According to the charges, Stevens misrepresented material facts relating to terms of a contract or promised performance, saying September 28, 2020 that he would start repairs on a home on Pintail Court by October 2020 and then didn’t initiate the work.
Stevens has settled tort damages, small claims, and breach of contract cases on 9 separate occasions dating back to 2013. The settlements include restitution totaling nearly $100,000. One small claims case remains open dating from February of last year.
According to the Better Business Bureau, Stevens’ construction business has received 7 complaints over the last 3 years.
Morgan County Assistant State’s Attorney Chad Turner says that the felony charges don’t preclude a potential lawsuit down the line: “When this case was initiated, when we first got the police reports in and the investigation was concluded at least to a point where the Jacksonville Police felt comfortable making an arrest, Mr. Stevens came forward with the full restitution to the victim that was the subject of this case. I doubt it resulted in civil litigation, but certainly the paying of restitution would not preclude some sort of civil litigation. Literally, on the day of his arrest and when he bonded out of the Morgan County Jail, somehow Mr. Stevens came up with the money to pay the full amount of restitution in the charged case.”
Stevens was sentenced to 1 year of probation, a $500 county fine plus probation fees and court costs. Turner says that Stevens must all pay restitution to a local business in a separate investigation initiated by the Jacksonville Police: “Mr. Stevens was required to make full restitution to a local business that he had defrauded that was a subsequent investigation that was initiated by the Jacksonville Police Department after this particular case was charged. He did plead guilty to a felony, and while obviously he was trying to negotiate to avoid that, we thought that it was important in order to, not that it is hugely and readily accessible to the home repair/construction consumer, we thought it was important that he get a felony so that people would know if they chose to look him up before hiring him for any future contracting jobs.”
According to a list from the Illinois Department of Financial & Professional Regulation’s Division of Regulation of Roofing Contractors, C & A Construction is not listed as a licensed roofing contractor in the State of Illinois. Currently, general contracting businesses do not have to be licensed by the state. However, local governments can require contractors to possess a surety bond and insurance to operate in their locality.