Attorney General Cuomo Obtains Order To Sell Contractor's Property To Pay Back Ripped Off Consumers

POUGHKEEPSIE, N.Y. (March 31, 2009) - Attorney General Andrew M. Cuomo today announced that his office has obtained a court order to obtain a contractor’s property, which will be sold to help pay back consumers he defrauded in his home improvement contract business.

Brian Tyrrell was previously ordered to pay restitution to the victims of his shoddy and incomplete home improvement work. In an attempt to hide his assets and avoid making payment, Tyrrell fraudulently transferred land he owned in Ulster County to a friend after the Attorney General’s lawsuit was filed. The property was then given to Tyrrell’s brother.

As a result of the Attorney General’s intervention and the Ulster County Supreme Court order, the property will now be sold by the state and the proceeds distributed to the consumers to whom Tyrrell owes restitution.

“This contractor’s actions were an insult to consumers already reeling from the added expenses that come with repairing shoddy work,” said Attorney General Cuomo. “Not only did he take his customers’ money and then leave their properties in shambles, he also tried to hide assets to avoid paying them back.”

Tyrrell, of Vienna, Va. (formerly of Macks Road in Highland), demanded large up-front payments for home repair projects and then either failed to complete the jobs or did the work in an unprofessional, shoddy manner. Tyrrell also failed to return to repair the defective work or refund customers’ money.

In 2005 the Attorney General’s Office sued Tyrrell and won a judgment of more than $124,000 in restitution to consumers he defrauded in his home improvement contract businesses, Tyrrell Construction Corp and Dura-Crete LLC. Under law, anyone who is sued for a money judgment cannot dispose of any property or funds for the purpose of rendering the judgment unenforceable.

Two years prior, Tyrrell purchased an undeveloped piece of property in Port Ewen for $75,000. When Tyrrell became aware of the Attorney General’s lawsuit, he transferred the land to his friend Mark Dolan, of Beechwood Avenue in Poughkeepsie. In June 2006, Dolan transferred the property to Tyrrell’s brother, Kenneth Tyrrell, of Vienna, Va. Both transfers of the property were done for no cost.

When the Attorney General’s office became aware of the fraudulent conveyances, it filed a lawsuit against Tyrrell in December 2008. State Supreme Court Judge Kimberly O'Connor ordered that the property be given to the state to be sold for the benefit of defrauded consumers.

Brian Tyrrell is listed on Attorney General Cuomo’s Web site, www.nyknowyourcontractor.com. The site helps New York state residents avoid home improvement scams and dishonest contractors. It allows consumers to easily check for local contractors that have been subject to legal action or have substantiated consumer complaints filed against them. Consumers can search contractors by name, business name, region or county. The site also lists helpful consumer tips, resources and links to other agencies.

This case was handled by Assistant Attorney General Nicholas Garin under the supervision of Vincent Bradley, Assistant Attorney General In-Charge of the Poughkeepsie Regional Office.

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