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State seeks to bar roofer from liquidating alleged fraud debts through bankruptcy

The state is trying to stop a roofer accused of scamming customers from freeing himself of those debts through bankruptcy.

Tim Currier, owner of Green Home Energy Systems, filed for bankruptcy in August, listing among his creditors several homeowners who have accused him of taking large deposits for work he never completed. Earlier this week the state filed a complaint in U.S. Bankruptcy Court asking a judge to deem those debts – which total nearly $140,000 allegedly taken from 19 homeowners – unfit for discharge because they were incurred through fraud.

The state is also asking for a judge to award $190,000 in penalties to the state, $10,000 for each of the 19 alleged violations of the Consumer Protection Act.

Grievances against Currier, who tax records show owns a home in Bow, were first filed with the state’s Consumer Protection Bureau and the Better Business Bureau a few years ago. But since January, they’ve stacked up, as homeowners accused Currier of taking their money and either constructing faulty roofs or no roofs at all. According to the attorney general’s office, Currier became unreachable, skipped appointments, rattled off a list of excuses and refused to give refunds.

In October, a Merrimack County grand jury indicted Currier on theft charges, accusing him of taking deposits ranging from $300 to $12,000 from a dozen homeowners. This month another indictment, this time in Hillsborough County Superior Court, was added to the list, accusing Currier of taking $7,993 from a homeowner last year.

Ahead of those criminal filings, the state also received an injunction against Currier in June that barred him from taking advanced payments from clients. That lawsuit also sought restitution for the homeowners. But that effort was effectively frozen when Currier filed for bankruptcy in August.

In this latest complaint, the state says Currier failed to complete any work for 13 of the 19 homeowners who have filed grievances.

“Instead, (Currier) used the consumers’ deposits for his own personal use, without the knowledge or consent of those who had paid the deposits,” the complaint filed by Senior Assistant Attorney General Peter Roth says.

The state alleges that even if Currier initially intended to complete the work, “when it subsequently became disadvantageous for him to perform, he then formed the intent to retain the deposits paid to him by consumers nevertheless, knowing he had not earned them.”

The complaint notes that several homeowners suffered further damage to their homes because of Currier’s actions.

One of those homeowners, Stephen Benoit of Sanbornton, estimates he’s lost thousands more than the initial $10,000 he gave Currier. Benoit said that when Currier skipped out on constructing his roof, he had to cancel contracts for other work that could no longer be completed. As part of his home was left covered by only a tarp, water seeped in and caused further damage, Benoit said.

Currier’s lawyer, Pat Carron, has acknowledged that Currier took the homeowners’ money but said he always intended to complete the work. He has said Currier is guilty of nothing more than being “an idiot” and “a terrible businessman” who tried to start his own company and failed.

“For every Bill Gates, there is a Tim Currier,” Carron said yesterday.

A number previously used to reach Currier is now disconnected.

In Currier’s bankruptcy filing, he lists about $600,000 in debts. Of his $178,000 in assets, all but $7,000 relates to the home Currier owns at 42 River Road in Bow. Benoit has said a judge granted him a lien on that residence.

In July, Currier was sentenced to a year in jail with all but 30 days suspended after being found guilty of keeping his wife from calling 911 during a June 2011 incident. In the same case, jurors found Currier not guilty of assaulting the woman.

According to business records filed with the secretary of state’s office, Currier founded Green Home Energy Systems in 2009. The business is registered at the Bow home, which Currier owns but is vacant. Court records list him living in Derry.

(Tricia L. Nadolny can be reached at 369-3306 or tnadolny@cmonitor.com or on Twitter @tricia_nadolny.)

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