Former Grand Junction man fined in energy-rebate probe
A former Grand Junction man has been fined a default judgment of $100,000 by the Colorado attorney general for defrauding costumers of rebates they were promised for purchasing energy-efficient housing materials.
Tim Stubbs, former owner of National Energy Rebate Fund, also will have to pay back the $4.2 million he collected from more than 14,000 customers through the company, the Attorney General’s Office said.
The judgment comes after Stubbs did not answer to a complaint filed June 12, 2009, that he violated the Colorado Consumers Protection Act.
According to the Attorney General’s Office, Stubbs persuaded consumers to purchase higher-priced housing items such as siding and roofing “by offering them false hopes that they have a fair opportunity to obtain a substantial rebate,” the complaint read.
Some $4.4 million remaining in an escrow account set up by Stubbs at Christina Bank will be turned over to the Colorado Department of Law and distributed to consumers according to their level of participation in the National Energy Rebate Fund program.
Stubbs placed $4.6 million in the account to pay consumers who participated in the program.
The department also will subtract costs of administering the money and legal fees. It also will be shared with consumers from Wisconsin who were some of the company’s victims, the judgment said.
Stubbs misrepresented the likelihood that customers would receive a rebate, the Attorney General’s Office said, and the terms and conditions of the agreement were not as easy to understand as Stubbs’ company purported them to be. Also, the office said, the scheme was not a way to promote energy efficiency, but a way for companies that Stubbs worked with to sell higher-priced items to customers.