NJ contractor fined $7.7 mil; barred from business

NEWARK, N.J. -- New Jersey's attorney general announced on Tuesday that a contractor had been fined $7.7 million and barred from doing business in the state after consumer affairs officials received more than 80 complaints about his businesses and found more than 1,500 violations of contracting and consumer protection rules.

Attorney General Jeffrey S. Chiesa said John Kot of Garwood operated multiple home improvement companies that in many cases performed shoddy work, failed to honor warranties or return consumer deposits for work not performed, and failed to obtain proper permits on several jobs.

Chiesa said several of Kot's businesses falsely implied they had some connection to government or police work.

The 41-year-old Kot is permanently barred from managing or owning any business in New Jersey.

The final judgment was brought by a Superior Court judge in Bergen County.

Kot and his co-defendants advertised or contracted with consumers under corporations, limited liability companies, trade names and unregistered business names that included A-1 American Construction, Inc.; A-1 American Chimney Limited Liability Company; Brick City Chimney Service, L.L.C.; Brick City Chimney Service and Cleaning, Inc.; Roofing Police, Inc.; Roofing Squad; Chimney Squad; Brick City; Brick City Chimney & Roofing Services; A-1 American Masonry; A-1 American Masonry Services; A-1 American Chimney Service; A-1 American Contracting; A-1 American Roofing; A-1 American Gutters; A-1 American Siding; A-1 Affordable Construction; A Above American; A Above Brick City; and Diamond Roofing.

Kot and his co-defendants used common addresses in Fair Lawn, Hackensack, Maywood and Garwood, according to court papers.