CHICAGO (CBS) — A prolific scammer is getting the state’s attention again.
CBS 2’s Marissa Parra has been on the case for a year, and the fight is on to keep the serial scammer from striking once more.READ MORE: Illinois COVID-19: State Reports 1,248 More Cases, 24 Additional Deaths
Video taken in May shows a man with a hammer. It looks routine, but scams often do.
Ed Kavanaugh’s victims say he was best at getting homeowners to trust him to do some work – only to find out months later the work was done wrong or just never finished at all.
We first introduced you to him and three of his most rebellious victims one year ago.
“In the year since we met you and you brought this attention to the rest of the public, he has scammed dozens to hundreds more families,” said Kavanaugh victim Claire Duggan.
In fact, that aforementioned video of Kavanaugh with the hammer doing home repairs was taken three months after our story aired.
In October, Kavanaugh was taken into custody in Will County facing charges there. But now, the Illinois Attorney General’s office is calling Kavanaugh a prolific scammer – using various aliases to trick his victims on social media.
The AG has charged Kavanaugh with 21 felony counts of home repair fraud.
The Office of Attorney General Kwame Raoul said Kavanaugh was also charged with one count of aggravated home repair fraud and six counts of theft.
“Edmund Kavanaugh is a prolific scammer who has spent years adjusting and evolving his scams in order to continue defrauding victims out of thousands of dollars,” Raoul said in a news release. “Individuals who scam unsuspecting consumers have no place in our communities, and I am committed to continuing to hold accountable individuals who take advantage of consumers for personal gain.”
Raoul’s office said Kavanaugh owns and operates the home repair business Goliath Construction, and he repeatedly collected payments for jobs without doing the work. Kavanaugh also uses aliases for himself and his business so he can keep his scam going once details of his past become known, the AG’s office said.READ MORE: Two Chicago Police Officers Shot On South Lawndale Released From Hospital
But instead of celebrating, the Duggan sisters said it’s déjà vu.
“We were victimized when the AG’s office already knew about him years,” said Claire Duggan.
Kavanaugh has a criminal record of fraud dating back 25 years.
The Attorney General’s office first filed a civil lawsuit against Kavanaugh in October 2018, accusing him of defrauding customers out of thousands of dollars by selling defective appliances. In August 2018, The Attorney General’s office indicted Kavanaugh on charges of aggravated home repair fraud and theft against another group of victims and as far back as 2006, the AG’s Consumer Fraud Bureau entered into a consent decree forbidding Kavanaugh from involvement in “various home repair conduct.”
For the Duggans, they say between the $8,000 lost and the damage to their home, the celebrations will have to wait.
Parra asked the Duggan sisters what they would like to see come out of this when all is said and done.
“Restitution for the victims,” said Mary Duggan.
“It’s frustrating that they haven’t charged our case,” said Annie Duggan.
“I’m really glad that these 27 families have gotten their first step towards justice, but we know there are hundreds more,” said Claire Duggan. “Yes, we’re celebrating the victory in terms of these families seeing justice, but the job is not done.”
Cook County Court set bond for Kavanaugh at $350,000. If you’re one of his victims, the Attorney General’s Office wants to hear from you.MORE NEWS: 13-Year-Old Boy Riding Bicycle Critically Wounded In Shooting
The AG’s office said victims of fraud should always file a complaint on their website, or call the Consumer Fraud Hotline at (800) 243-0618.