CONSTRUCTION AND SOLAR FRAUD
The end of a construction or solar project should be a time to celebrate, however, there are times you discover the construction company, contractor, or solar installer committed fraud with respect to your project. At Thaler Law, our team of real estate law experts can help you understand your rights regarding construction and solar fraud.
WHAT IS FRAUD?
Fraud is an intentional act of false representation to deceive another. In the case of construction or solar projects, fraud can appear either through illegal actions of the contractors, substandard repairs or simply cheating and lying about part of the project. Other types of fraud in these circumstances include working with other subcontractors to perpetuate the fraud. In these circumstances, often the fraud is considered contractual fraud, and will not lead to criminal charges.
Construction fraud can be committed by construction companies, employees, material suppliers, consultants, partners, or subcontractors. Examples of construction fraud include, but are not limited to:
- Falsification of Applications for Payment: A contractor or subcontractor creates false invoices or artificially increases the project costs.
- Collusion: A contractor will work with subcontractors in a fraudulent scheme to manipulate prices. This scheme can include false bids, bribes, or kickbacks.
- Materials Falsification: A contractor or subcontractor uses dangerous or low-grade materials and falsifies documents to appear that they used safer or more expensive materials.
- False Billing: A contractor or subcontractor falsifies work records regarding how much was accomplished and the time that the project took to complete. Under the False Claims Act, this is a violation of federal law.
- Diverting Funds: A contractor or subcontractor double-bills for the project.
Solar energy is an energy source that many homeowners are turning to in an attempt to decrease energy costs. Solar paneling as an energy source can be a benefit to the environment, however, the industry provides many opportunities for fraudulent business activity. Solar Fraud (also known as Panel Fraud) involves companies that fraudulently advertise, sell, solicit, lease, finance or install solar panel systems to consumers.
Solar panel contractors have been quick to attempt to achieve profits in this new and growing industry. Some contractors and subcontractors do not have the training or skill to install solar panels properly. Some outcomes of improperly installed solar panels include incorrect installation leading to either too much or too little electricity, or damage to property due to faulty installation. Knowing that homeowners can receive incentive financing through a Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) loan has made many inadequately trained contractors attempt to enter into the solar panel installation field.
AN ATTORNEY YOU CAN TRUST
Construction and solar panel fraud are serious crimes, and if you have been a victim of construction or solar fraud, consulting with an experienced business law attorney can help you understand your rights. At Thaler Law, we will help you understand your options, and help you navigate your way through the complicated legal issues regarding either construction fraud or solar fraud. Contact us at 714-869-2900 or online today for a consultation.