- Associated Press - Tuesday, June 2, 2015

NEWARK, N.J. (AP) - New Jersey authorities have obtained a $6.34 million default judgment against a contractor and two home improvement companies he operated

The ruling came after a judge found that Anthony Pizza, of Rutherford, and the firms committed 571 violations of the state’s consumer protection laws and regulations.

Pizza is permanently barred from advertising, offering for sale, selling or performing home improvements in New Jersey and from owning, operating or otherwise managing any business performing home improvements in the state.

The judgment was obtained by the Attorney General’s office and the Consumer Affairs Division.

The business certificates of Pizza’s two companies - A. Pizza Contracting LLC and AP Building & Construction LLC, also known as AP Builders & Construction - were permanently cancelled. The companies maintained business locations in Clifton and Rutherford.

The order provides for $585,395.74 in consumer restitution, $5,710,000 in civil penalties and $39,625.52 in attorneys’ fees and costs. The state has arranged for the filing of the final order as a statewide lien against the assets of Pizza and his companies.

Consumers had claimed that Pizza and/or his companies failed to perform home improvement work and/or performed substandard work, despite payment being made.

They also said Pizza used home improvement contracts that failed to include required information such as signatures, a description of the work, start and stop dates, and cancellation information.

“Through our efforts, this unscrupulous contractor is banned from owning or operating home improvement companies,” acting Attorney General John Hoffman said. “Our focus now will be on identifying assets that we can obtain and liquidate to provide restitution to consumers.”

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