(Chillicothe, Ohio)— Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine today announced a lawsuit against MidOhio Buildings, Inc., doing business as Mustang Buildings Corporation, and its owner Mark Reese. The lawsuit charges the Chillicothe pole barn business with violations of Ohio’s Consumer Sales Practices Act. DeWine is seeking consumer restitution, civil penalties, and injunctive relief.
“At this time a number of consumers have nothing to show for the thousands of dollars they gave MidOhio Buildings in good faith. We want to do all we can to help them and to protect other consumers as well,” DeWine said.
Seven consumers have filed complaints against the business with the Attorney General or the Better Business Bureau. In their complaints, consumers allege losses totaling more than $100,000.
According to the Attorney General’s lawsuit, Mustang Buildings entered into consumer transactions to construct pole barns and similar buildings, but committed multiple violations, including:
Failing to deliver promised services after accepting money from consumers
Entering into contracts knowing the business was experiencing financial problems
Doing shoddy work
Making misleading statements to consumers
Operating without appropriate permits or licenses
Consumers reported that Reese told them the company was ceasing operation because it did not have the funds to complete their projects. However, Southern Hills Community Church, named as a relief defendant, received more than $10,000 that can be traced back directly to Mustang’s business account. Mark Reese is the founder, director, and pastor of the church. The lawsuit names Southern Hills Community Church as a relief defendant in an attempt to recover money for the consumers.
DeWine encourages consumers to take the following steps before hiring a business to perform home improvement or construction work:
Check with local officials to see if permits are required for the project.
Get written estimates from three or more different contractors.
Ask the contractor to show proof of licenses, insurance, and bonding. State law does not require home improvement contractors to be licensed, but many Ohio cities do.
Ask the contractor to provide references, and check the references.
Check with the Ohio Attorney General’s Office and the Better Business Bureau to determine whether complaints are on file against the company.
Consumers who believe they have been treated unfairly by any business should file a complaint with the Ohio Attorney General’s Office at 800-282-0515 or www.OhioAttorneyGeneral.gov
Dan Tierney: 614-466-3840
Lisa Hackley: 614-466-3840