ALMA, Ark. (KNWA/KFTA) — Arkansas filed a lawsuit against Alma resident Laura Anne Jones and her business, Purple Hat Construction, LLC., for violations of the Arkansas Deceptive Trade Practices Act (ADTPA), Attorney General Leslie Ruteldge announced on Thursday.
The lawsuit alleges that, between April 2019 and January 2020, there are several instances in which Jones offered “residential contractor services to consumers, obtained money before performing those services, and failed to complete those services.”
Jones is not, and has never been, licensed by the Arkansas Contractors Board as a residential contractor, the release states.
“When businesses take consumers’ money and agree to do a job, they have to follow through,” said Attorney General Rutledge. “I will not tolerate businesses taking advantage of Arkansans or accepting money from deceptive practices, nor will I tolerate businesses who try to skirt the law by not registering with licensing boards.”
Jones allegedly contracted customers in Northwest Arkansas through her company, Purple Hat Construction, for home repair projects, requiring a large deposit upfront to reserve the date for the work.
When the scheduled date arrived, Jones would allegedly contact the homeowner with excuses, making her unavailable to complete the work and unable to provide a refund, according to the release from the attorney general.
Fines can be assessed at up to $10,000 per violation of the ADTPA.
Rutledge says she will now seek “restitution for harmed consumers, civil penalties, an injunction and other costs and fees incurred by the State of Arkansas in resolving this issue for consumers.”
Rachael Stamps was one — of many — of Jones’s customers who didn’t get what she was promised, after paying $1000.
“There’s a lot of really great small businesses out there who don’t take your money and do great work,” Stamps said. “That’s what I thought I was getting, unfortunately, I didn’t.”
Stamps said her goal now is raise awareness and let people know to do their due diligence and research a company beforehand.
If you’ve been impacted by similar actions, the Attorney General’s Office encourages you to call its office at (800) 482-8982 or visit www.ArkansasAG.gov.