COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH) – Ohio Attorney General David Yost is taking on a central Ohio landscaping contractor for a second time.

According to a release from the attorney’s office, Yost is suing Daryl Allen, who had previously been prohibited from conducting business by Yost’s office. Allen allegedly partnered with two men who registered new deck-building companies with the Ohio Secretary of State, according to the lawsuit.

Yost’s office says that the companies took over $130,000 from homeowners who made payments for decks that were never built. Allen is named in the lawsuit along with Bernard Crist and Shane Bates, who Yost’s office says offered deck-building services through two companies they operated – Good News Builders and Columbus Deck Co. LLC.

Allen, Crist and Bates have received 12 unresolved complaints, 11 of which have been filed against Good News Builders with Yost’s Consumer Protection Section and the Better Business Bureau (BBB). The release states that Allen has a history of setting up a new company after consumers complain to the Attorney General’s Office and BBB.

“Name changes don’t make bad business practices disappear,” Yost said in the release. “My Consumer Protection Section is here to safeguard homeowners from these scammers.”

The lawsuit accuses the three men of violating the Ohio Consumer Sales Practices Act by accepting money and failing to delivery the promise of goods and services or performing shoddy work and failing to correct it. It also states the three violated the Ohio Home Solicitations Act by failing to provide customers with proper notice of a three-day right of rescission.

In all 12 complaints, consumers detail financial losses totaling $132,139.80 dating back to September 2020. In 2019 a court prohibited Allen from conducting business until he paid more than $47,000 in consumer damages, plus a $50,000 civil penalty. Neither fine has been paid, according to Yost’s office, which is asking that Allen and his co-defendants reimburse customers and pay civil penalties, plus court costs.

Anyone who suspect unfair business practices is encouraged to contact the Ohio Attorney General’s Office at www.OhioProtects.org or by calling 800-282-0515.