LITTLE ROCK — A roofing contractor in Arkansas has been ordered to pay more than $165,000 in restitution, fees and penalties for working as a unlicensed contractor who failed to complete work or provide refunds.
Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge announced on Wednesday the judgment against Little Rock resident Howard Gene Hickman and HGH Development LLC. The lawsuit was filed for unlawfully misrepresenting services as an unlicensed contractor and taking more than $20,000 in fees from consumers without completing any roofing or remodeling services.
The judgment orders Hickman to pay $165,747 in restitution, civil penalties and legal fees for violations of the Arkansas Deceptive Trade Practices Act (ADTPA) and the Home Solicitation Sales Act (HSSA).
“Scam artists will often prey on Arkansans after severe storms wreak havoc on our communities and homes,” said Rutledge. “Together, we are fighting back against these bad actors to keep them from causing more financial loss and heartache.”
Three consumers provided sworn affidavits claiming Hickman, doing business as HGH Development, illegally solicited them for roofing repairs and replacement services. After receiving a deposit from each of the victims, Hickman quickly cashed the checks, but failed to complete the work on the proposed agreements or return consumers’ money. Hickman must pay $130,000 for 13 violations of ADTPA, $35,407.59 in restitution, and $340 for legal fees.
Hickman was previously arrested for multiple felony thefts of property and services related to construction projects. He was released on parole from prison in 2016.