Fraudulent contractor sued by AG, must pay thousands back to homeowners

BOSTON — Last November, a family was stripped of their life savings by a contractor who took their money without doing any of the work. Now, he's paying up big time.

State Attorney General Maura Healey said several homeowners had turned to her office with similar complaints about Richard Rolon and his business, Design Consultants, which prompted them to start investigating.

PREVIOUS: Revere family robbed of life savings by contractor they found online

The AG's office then filed a suit against Rolon on behalf of several families for taking money for work he never did, and never paying them back.

This week, the AG won a judgment of more than $400,000 in restitution. The ruling means Rolon can never do business in Massachusetts again.

"If you're going to hire someone to do work on your home, make sure you check with the office of Consumer Affairs to be sure that that person is licensed," said Healey.

In fact, Richard Rolon was never licensed in the state.

One of the homeowners that was caught up in Rolon's fraud is Sandra Burke, who found the contractor online. She said she did her research before signing on for a two-year ordeal.

Rolon started the project Burke hired him for, but ultimately left the home in Revere in unlivable conditions, stripped to the studs. More than $178,000 were gone.

"We were homeless and we were penniless, he took our life savings," said Burke.

Healey also wants to remind homeowners that for any job over $1,000, you do not need to pay more than a third of it up front.

The AG also encourages people to report any similar cases by contacting the state's consumer hotline at (617)727-8400.