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Maryland Attorney General Douglas F. Gansler announced Thursday that two Calvert County men working as unlicensed home improvement contractors, who are charged with taking hundreds of thousands of dollars from customers and failing to perform the services they were paid to do, were issued a cease and desist order by the Consumer Protection Division.

“Especially in these financially challenging times, the last thing consumers should have to worry about is whether the home improvement contractors they hire are misrepresenting their credentials or taking their hard-earned money,” Gansler said in a written statement. “Marylanders looking to hire contractors should always do their homework and ensure that the company or individual in question is properly licensed and has a good reputation.”

According to a Maryland Attorney General’s Office press release, the charges filed by the division allege that Christopher Manion of Huntingtown and Albert Styles of North Beach sold and provided home improvement services without the required home improvement licenses and collected large payments for services they failed to perform.

According to Maryland’s home improvement laws, contractors must possess licenses to both sell and perform home improvement services. Manion and Styles offered home improvement services using several different company names — including Comfortable Construction, D&M Construction LLC and Built-Tite Construction LLC — but did not hold the required licenses.

In support of its order, the division presented testimony from nine consumers who paid Manion and Styles $420,303.88 for services that were not performed.

Alan Brody, deputy communications director for the attorney general’s office, said the consumers who provided testimony were residents from Chesapeake Beach, Waldorf, Fort Washington and Valley Lee, and the violations occurred between the summer 2009 and December 2011.

The division’s order requires Manion and Styles to reimburse the nine known victims, as well as any other consumers who paid for services that were not performed, the press release states.

The division also ordered Manion and Styles to immediately cease and desist from offering and selling home improvement services unless they obtain the required licenses and post a bond or other cash security with the division for $200,000 to protect consumers.

Consumers with complaints against Manion, Styles or any of their companies may call the division at 410-576-6569 or write the division at 200 St. Paul Place, 16th Floor, Baltimore, MD 21202.

kfitzpatrick@somdnews.com