(See the attached pdf files above for more information.)
The lawsuit against Nu Way Fuel and Service Corp., Nu Way Services of New York, Inc. (collectively referred to as "Nu Way"), owner David DaSilva Jr. and his father, David DaSilva Sr., was filed in State Supreme Court in White Plains on Sept. 24.
The owners had engaged in "persistent fraudulent, illegal and deceptive conduct," according to the lawsuit.
Beginning in March 2012, Nu Way began taking pre-payments for heating oil and oil-burner service that were supposed to be provided to consumers throughout the 2012-2013 heating season.
However, instead of filling customers' oil tanks, Nu Way delivered the oil in amounts – sometimes as little as 15 gallons per delivery – which constituted only a small fraction of the oil the customers paid for in advance, according to the lawsuit. In addition, Nu Way completed only a portion of the oil-burner service work it was contracted to perform.
As a result, Westchester consumers paid for more than $80,000 of heating oil and oil burner service that were never provided.
Yorktown's Rose Rothe and Somers' Stacy Silverstein told Patch they were owed $1,000 and $720, respectively, after they pre-paid for oil but never received the full amount from Nu Way Fuel. Once they started calling the business and inquiring about the oil and money, they calls went unreturned.
The Attorney General's office has received 20 consumer complaints against Nu Way. The Westchester County Department of Consumer Protection has received more than 50 complaints. At least 28 consumers have sued Nu Way in Peekskill City Court to recover money owed to them due to the non-delivery of pre-paid home heating oil and oil burner service.
Nu Way Fuel is also listed on the county’s Renegade Renovators list. The Consumer Protection Department maintains a list of unlicensed problematic home improvement contractors, according to its website.
"Deceptive business practices have no place in Westchester," County Executive Robert P. Astorino said. "Westchester, through our Consumer Department, has been working with the Attorney General's office on these cases with the goal of getting restitution."
Schneiderman is seeking restitution for all consumers and a court order barring Nu Way and the DaSilvas from operating a home heating oil business in New York State unless they obtain all necessary licenses and permits and post a $200,000 performance bond.
Also, the Attorney General's lawsuit seeks an order enjoining Nu Way and the DaSilvas from engaging in any future violations of consumer protection laws and an order directing them to provide a full accounting of monies received from consumers, all contracts and a complete list of customers.
"Not only is the costly home-heating season rapidly approaching, this lawsuit sends a message to contractors and suppliers around New York State that broken promises can result in law enforcement action," Schneiderman said. "We are seeking to get them their money back and punish the lawbreakers."
Consumers with complaints against Nu Way should file a complaint with the OAG. Complaint forms are available here.
The case is being handled by Assistant Attorney General Judy S. Prosper and Law Department Investigators John Slevin and Ralph Dorismond, under the supervision of Gary Brown, Assistant Attorney General-in-Charge of the Westchester Regional Office, and Martin J. Mack, Executive Deputy Attorney General for Regional Affairs.
Patch has reached out to the DeSilvas' lawyer John Pappalardo who could not be reached in time of publication. We'll update the story once more information becomes available.
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