AG's office files lawsuit against Austin restoration company - MyFoxAustin.com | KTBC Fox 7 | News, Weather, Sports

AG's office files lawsuit against Austin restoration company

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The Attorney General's office has filed a lawsuit against a restoration company that victims say took their money and didn't follow through.

Tony Lopez can look around his 45-year-old Montopolis home and see plenty of things that need repair.

"My cabinets need fixing for sure," Lopez said.

He says it was appealing when two people representing themselves as Castro Property Restoration told him free government money was available to restore his home. All he would need to do is sign a form and pay $99 dollars. They even offered to put him up in a hotel until the work was complete.

"I said that sounds good. That sounds real good," said Lopez.

Lopez gave them $49 dollars as a deposit, but did not sign any forms. Castro representatives gave him a receipt and flyer. Lopez then did some checking. He first called FOX 7. We advised him not to pay any more money and to call the Better Business Bureau.

"He told me don't do anything. Don't sign no paper. Don't fool with them no more," Lopez said.

Rosa Fabien did pay the $99 dollars and sign the forms. She even loaded all of the contents of her home into pods the company brought out for her. But she had a bad feeling about it and unloaded all those items. She still hasn't had a chance to put it all back inside.

Fabien says Castro employees threatened her when she backed out.

"They said if I break this contract that I could go to jail and they could go to jail too," she said. "You know, I got so scared."

By signing the forms, she unknowingly gave Castro Property Restoration power of attorney. She says they got $2,100 dollars from her insurance company.

According to the Attorney General's office, Castro Property Restoration got $5,755 from one man.

On Tuesday, the A.G.'s office filed this lawsuit against owner, Victor James Castro and his business associate Allen Lloyd Kinman. Investigators are seeking a permanent injunction preventing the business from operating and civil penalties and restitution for affected customers.

We called the number customers were provided to try and get a response from Castro and Kinman. It's no longer in service.

We then went to the location of the business off Cameron Road. The name is on the directory but when we went to the actual suite, a former business partner told us they hadn't been there in two months.

Both Lopez and Fabien say they are thankful the attorney general has intervened.

"It has to be stopped," said Fabien.

The Travis County District Attorney's office can file criminal charges. There is currently an active investigation underway.

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