A Peekskill-based home heating oil business was sued by the state attorney general last week for defrauding more than 70 customers of over $80,000 in services with “illegal and deceptive conduct.”
In the lawsuit filed in state Supreme Court against Nu Way Fuel and Service Corp., owner David DaSilva, Jr. and his father David DaSilva, Sr., Attorney General Eric Schneiderman seeks restitution for all affected consumers and a court order barring Nu Way and the DaSilvas’ from operating in New York State unless they obtain all necessary licenses and permits and post a $200,000 performance bond.
“My office will aggressively pursue unscrupulous businesses that fail to provide products and services that consumers have paid for,” Schneiderman said. “Not only is the costly home heating season rapidly approaching, this lawsuit sends a message to contractors and suppliers around New York State that broken promises can result in law enforcement action. We are seeking to get them their money back and punish the lawbreakers.”
According to Schneiderman, beginning in March 2012, Nu Way began taking pre-payments for heating oil and oil burner service that were supposed to be provided to customers throughout the 2012-13 heating season. However, instead of filling customer’s oil tanks, Nu Way delivered the oil in as little as 15 gallons per delivery, which constituted only a small fraction of the oil customers paid for in advance. In addition, Nu Way completed only a portion of the oil burner service work it was contracted to perform.
As a result, customers in Westchester paid for more than $80,000 in heating oil and services that were not delivered from Nu Way, which is not licensed by the New York State Department of Taxation and Finance to sell or distribute home heating oil.
To date, at least 28 consumers have sued Nu Way in Peekskill City Court to recover money owed to them. The Attorney General’s Office has received 20 complaints against the business, while the Westchester County Department of Consumer Protection has received more than 50 complaints.
“Deceptive business practices have no place in Westchester,” said Westchester County Executive Rob Astorino, who noted the county was working with the attorney general on the case.