Philadelphia Contractor Sued for Failing to Fulfill Contracts

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HARRISBURG, PA — Attorney General Michelle Henry announced that her office recently submitted a lawsuit against a Philadelphia-area home improvement contractor that failed to fulfill contracts with customers either by not completing work or doing so in an unsatisfactory manner.

The lawsuit alleges that Max Contractors Inc., and alleged owner Murillo Sousa, contracted with Pennsylvania consumers for various general contracting and home improvement services, accepted substantial payments from consumers for materials and services, but did not perform the work, failed to complete it, or did so in an unprofessional manner.

According to the lawsuit, Sousa himself made promises to consumers that their complaints would be resolved, but never delivered on his promises and did not issue refunds.

“Sousa strung along customers with empty promises that ultimately led to Pennsylvanians being scammed out of their hard-earned money,” said Attorney General Henry. “He pocketed the money without completing the work —  that’s a violation of the law, pure and simple.”

The lawsuit alleges that Murillo Sousa may have also used the names LMN General Construction LLC, Skyline Contractor Imperium LLC, Easy Way Construction LLC, Clean Future General Construction LLC, and MPS Home Improvement LLC, for his business. Sousa himself may have also been known to consumers as Murillo Da Costa Sousa, Murillo Sousa Dacosta, Murillo Da Costa, and Murillo Costa.

In one instance, it is alleged that a consumer contracted with Max Contractors Inc., and Sousa for a project that cost more than $50,000, and Max Contractors and Sousa never obtained the required construction permits, failed to comply with building codes, put a door frame in the wrong place, placed windows improperly, punctured a gas line, and created a leaking roof which caused water damage. Max Contractors and Sousa abandoned the project prior to completion and one contractor who inspected the work noted that it was inadequate, not up to code, and structurally unsound, with “[t]oo many issues to list them all…”

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The lawsuit requests, among other things, that the court orders the defendants to:

  • Be permanently prevented from doing business as a home improvement contractor in Pennsylvania and any other work or practice that violates the Consumer Protection Law and the Home Improvement Consumer Protection Act;
  • Pay restitution to all impacted consumers;
  • Pay civil penalties of $1,000 for each violation of the Consumer Protection Law and $3,000 for each violation involving a consumer 60 years or older.

Any consumers who believe they or someone they know may be a victim of these practices should file a complaint with the Bureau of Consumer Protection at www.attorneygeneral.gov,  call 800-441-2555, or email scams@attorneygeneral.gov. Inspectors, contractors, laborers, suppliers, or anyone else who may have information regarding the business practices of Max Contractors Inc., Murillo Sousa, or any similar aliases he may use are also encouraged to contact the Bureau of Consumer Protection.

Don’t become a victim of contractor fraud or home improvement scams! Click here to learn how you can protect yourself by following a few simple tips.

For more information on Home Improvement contractor requirements in Pennsylvania visit the Office of Attorney General’s website.

The Complaint was submitted in the Philadelphia County Court of Common Pleas and is being handled by Deputy Attorney General Shawn Bachman.

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