Attorney General accuses Chicago home repair company of fraud

CHICAGO – Illinois’ attorney general is suing a home repair company for allegedly cheating Chicago-area residents out of more than $58,000.

Attorney General Lisa Madigan says her office filed the lawsuit Thursday against Rafael Martinez, who operates Chicago-based Abiel Construction Co.

Authorities say Martinez went door to door soliciting home-repair services, demanded down payments and then either failed to complete the repairs or did shoddy work.

His alleged victims included a senior citizen suffering from Alzheimer’s disease and a Maywood church.

Madigan says in one case, Martinez’s workers allegedly broke a gas line during a kitchen remodeling project, disappeared for a week and then denied the gas line had been damaged. The family already had paid him $20,000, but was forced to pay $5,000 to another contractor to complete the repairs.