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Defunct Cleveland door company sued by state of Ohio over alleged scam

The three operators of CLE Door LLC allegedly took nearly $200,000 in down payments without rendering any services.

COLUMBUS, Ohio — Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost has sued the owners of a now-defunct garage door company in Cleveland that Yost says accepted nearly $182,000 in payments without completing any work, his office announced today. 

Matthew Petroff of Kent, Joshua Robertson of Parma and Thomas DiNardi of Lakewood, operators of CLE Door LLC, were taken to Cuyahoga County Common Please Court by the state of Ohio on the contention that the partners violated the Ohio Consumer Sales Practices Act and Ohio Home Solicitation Sales Act.

In the lawsuit, the men are accused of taking customers' down payments without providing doors or any other service. They are also accused of failing to inform customers of their "right of recission," meaning they did not tell customers that they had three days to back out of their contacts.

"This is not how we do business in Ohio," Yost said. "This lawsuit should serve as a deterrent to other contractors who play fast and loose. We'll come down on them harder than a garage door with a busted spring."

In some cases, the lawsuit states, the defendants offered to issue refunds of a customer's deposit, then failed to do so. Other times, the men refused customers' requests for refunds. 

The alleged violations under the Consumer Sales Practices Act include one count of "failure to deliver" for accepting money and letting eight weeks to elapse without completing the work or making a full refund, and a second count of "misrepresentation" by misleading customers on the status of their refunds. 

The second cause of action, under the Home Solicitation Sales Act, covers the alleged "right of rescission" violation. Ohio is one of many states that has laws commonly known as "buyer's remorse" laws that allow customers to back out of certain transactions within a fixed deadline. 

Yost's office said between April 27, 2021 and Jan. 3, 2022, 33 consumers filed complaints about CLE Door with the attorney general. CLE Door LLC had a storage warehouse in Lakewood, but did not have a retail business set up at any fixed permanent location and instead conducted its business at customers' homes. The business has since ceased operations.

In addition to the civil litigation, the men could face criminal charges for the alleged scams. The Brooklyn Police Department issued warrants for felony theft by deception to Petroff and Robertson, while Petroff has a case pending in Parma Municipal Court. 

You can read the entire lawsuit below:

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