WASHINGTON, D.C. – Attorney General Karl A. Racine today announced an estimated $224,000 judgment in its lawsuit against Xquisite Basements & Kitchens, Inc., a home renovation contractor, and Newton Gaynor, its owner and operator, for providing illegal and incomplete construction work to District consumers and for failing to pay workers. The Office of Attorney General (OAG) filed suit against Xquisite and Gaynor in June 2018 alleging violations of the District’s consumer protection and wage laws. Now, a judge has ordered the company to refund harmed consumers, many of them seniors, and to return stolen wages and damages to workers, and pay civil penalties to the District. OAG will attempt to collect these amounts from the defendants in order to provide relief to those who were harmed. The judge’s order also bans Xquisite and Gaynor from providing home improvement services in the District for ten years.
“We sued this home contractor and its owner for cheating and misleading consumers, many of them seniors, and for failing to pay their workers,” said AG Racine. “The Office of the Attorney General will not hesitate to take legal action against contractors or other businesses that flagrantly violate District laws and take advantage of residents.”
Xquisite Basements & Kitchens, Inc. is a home improvement contractor that did business in D.C. and Bowie, Maryland. Xquisite marketed and sold home improvement services that included remodeling and renovation of bathrooms, kitchens, and basements. An OAG investigation found evidence that the company and its owner duped seniors and other consumers into paying for lower-quality home repair services than promised, opened unauthorized credit lines for consumers, and made charges without their permission, among other violations.
OAG filed suit against Gaynor and his company in 2018, alleging they misled consumers and failed to complete renovation projects as promised in violation of the District’s Consumer Protection Procedures Act, performed construction work that violated the District’s Construction Codes, and failed to pay employees in violation of the Wage Theft Amendment Act. When the defendants failed to answer the District’s claims, the court granted the District’s motion for a default judgement. This judgment requires Xquisite and Gaynor to:
- Pay $178,024.35 in relief to six harmed consumers: Xquisite and Gaynor are required to refund $152,162.81 paid by six consumers, a majority of them seniors, for home improvement services that were provided incorrectly or were not provided at all. Additionally, the order requires consumers to be repaid $25,861 in economic loss damage caused by the faulty home improvement services. Most of the consumers harmed are over 50 years old, and Gaynor appears to have specifically targeted seniors in his marketing.
- Pay $15,409.60 in unpaid wages and damages to three workers: Gaynor and Xquisite were found to have illegally withheld $3,852.40 in wages from three of the company’s employees. Gaynor and Xquisite are also required to pay damages of three times the amount of the wages that were stolen.
- Pay $31,300 in penalties to the District: Gaynor and Xquisite are required to pay $30,000 in civil penalties for violating consumer protection laws and a penalty of $1,300 for violating wage laws.
- Stop doing business in the District for 10 years: Gaynor and Xquisite are required to stop offering any home improvement services in the District for a period of ten years and are ordered not to make misleading statements to consumers about any type of good or service.
A copy of the judge’s order is available at: https://oag.dc.gov/sites/default/files/2019-05/Xquisite-Judgment-and-Injunctive-Order.pdf
A copy of OAG’s original complaint is available at:
How to Report Unfair Business Practices
To report scams, fraud, or unfair business practices, you can submit a consumer complaint by calling OAG’s Consumer Protection Hotline at (202) 442-9828 or by .
How to Report Wage Theft Violations
Workers who believe that their rights have been violated, or that they have experienced wage theft or other wage and hour violations, can contact OAG by phone at (202) 442-9854. Workers can learn about their rights under District law and how they can get help if their rights are being violated at: