Monday, March 13, 2017

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Hudson Valley heating oil company sued for defrauding consumers

WHITE PLAINS – A Wappingers Falls-based home heating oil business has been sued by the state attorney general’s office charging the company engaged in persistent fraudulent, illegal and deceptive conduct. The state agency is seeking close to $83,000 in restitution for over 80 customers.

The company is no longer in business.

The lawsuit, in State Supreme Court in White Plains, was filed against Champion Fuel and Service Corp., its owners David DeSilva Sr. and Patrick Terminello, and DeSilva’s son, David DeSilva Jr., who managed the company.

In April 2014, Champion allegedly received pre-payments for home heating oil and oil burner services that were supposed to be provided to customers throughout the 2014-15 heating system. Instead of filling the customers’ oil tanks, Champion either never delivered heating oil or shorted customers delivering only a fraction of the oil for which they paid.

The company is also charged with completing only a portion of the oil-burner work it was contracted to do, or did none of it.

Champion customers allegedly paid for more than $80,000 of heating oil and oil burner service that were never provided to them.

The lawsuit seeks restitution for all injured customers and a court order permanently barring Champion, Terminello and the DeSilvas from operating a home heating oil business in New York State.

They are also seeking to enjoin them from engaging in any future violations of consumer protection laws and an order directing them to provide a full accounting of money received from consumers, all contracts and a complete list of customers.

Champion’s license to sell or distribute home heating oil was cancelled by the state Department of Taxation and Finance on January 25, 2015 for failure to file state tax returns and non-payment of state taxes.

To date, authorities have received 83 complaints against Champion. At least 30 customers sued Champion in Wappinger Town Court to recover money owned them, totaling over $30,000, due to non-delivery of pre-paid home heating oil and oil burner service.


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