CHICAGO — The Illinois Attorney General’s Office is investigating a Chicago area man after several women claimed he stole money from them in a home repair scam.
Clare Duggan and Mary Duggan said they gave Edmund Kavanaugh $8,000 to start work on their South Side home after massive damage from last year’s storms.
They got his name from the “Moms of Beverly” Facebook page and from a woman who turned out to be fictitious, who was allegedly joining other mom’s groups in Northbrook and LaGrange. The groups were promoting Kavanaugh’s services which included everything from home repair, to roofing, to HVAC to appliances.
There are allegedly 12 victims of Kavanugh’s home repair company Goliath Construction Corporation.
The sister claimed Kavanaugh said he had a “sliding scale” for rates because of his work on the North Shore and gave them “a deal” that was $15,000 less than other estimates.
The sisters said he showed them all of his papers, his license and insurance and gave them referrals they now believe were fake.
Once hired, the Duggan sisters said Kavanugh ripped off their garage roof before it was supposed to be leaving a gaping hole. They also said they had to show the worker who was taking off the wallpaper how to do it. Their back porch was torn down and not replaced.
Kavanaugh said for all their trouble he would redo their front walkway. It was never finished.
“Bells were going off and we were just at the end of our rope with him,” Clare Duggan said.
The Duggan sisters sent him a letter canceling his services.
“I have given back to the community in donations and money more than any of you. Go judge someone else,” Kavanaugh said.
The 52-year-old has a long list of criminal charges and liens dating back to 1995.
He’s been charged three times for home repair fraud that amounts to more than $300,000. He has also been charged three times for document forgery and nine times for theft or deception. He’s filed for bankruptcy nine times and charged eight times for having a fictitious business, according to court documents.
The Duggan sisters said he took advantage of Mary’s disability and age.
Now, the sisters have an alderman involved.
“Very quickly — by the detail they were telling me — I knew we had a monster on our hands,” 19th Ward Ald. Matthew O’Shea said.
There are two fraud investigations being done by the Illinois Attorney General’s Office.
Mary Duggan wants criminal charges filed against him for allegedly scamming at least 12 people.
“How can it be that you know about this man, you know he’s out there doing it more every single day and yet there’s no way to stop him?” Clare Duggan said.
Mary Duggan said she was scammed.
“I’m not going to be ashamed. I got played by a guy who’s spent time in a federal prison because he’s a professional at this,” she said.
If you or someone you know thinks they have been scammed by Kavanaugh, they are encouraged to call the IAG Consumer Fraud Hotline at 1-800-243-0618. A hotline has also been set up at 1-312-600-5350 and the email address Kavanaugh.Victims@gmail.com
Kavanaugh issued a statement to WGN News that said:
In reference to your unsubstantiated allegations to the in Good Standing Certificate of Goliath Construction Corporation of Illinois. Goliath Construction Corporation is a fully licensed bonded and insured Corporation of Illinois. Goliath Construction Corporation complies to all State,County and Municipal ordinances.
In reference to the Mary Duggan residence the homeowners were adamant in no applications for permits on interior and exterior in reference to any improvements to that residence. This stance with homeowners caused a pause in contract.
Homeowners stated to Goliath Construction Corporation that they were slowly being pushed out of their property due to escalating property tax hike. Being that this
Residence is located in the Historic District of the Beverly Neighborhood it is pertinent that Goliath Construction Corporation conform to the rules and regulations enforced by City Council.
Counsel being Pechter and Pechter will be representing Goliath Construction Corporation in this matter.