The owners of a Kent County homebuilder company must pay $75,000 in restitution to homeowners who complained of shoddy work as part of a Delaware Department of Justice cease and desist order, according to the Attorney General’s Office.


The owners of a Kent County homebuilder company must pay $75,000 in restitution to homeowners who complained of shoddy work as part of a Delaware Department of Justice cease and desist order, according to the Attorney General’s Office.

Under the terms of the order, five Delaware homeowners will receive restitution, the Attorney General’s Consumer Protection Unit said Monday.

The order requires Richard and Rosemary Aslin, who conducted business as Aslin, Inc. and Simpson Log Homes, to pay restitution and to cease unlawful construction practices, Department of Justice spokesman Jason P. Miller said.

The Aslins’ Kent County homebuilding company specialized in selling custom-built and pre-fabricated log homes, Miller said in Monday’s press release. They had built log homes in Kent and Sussex counties as well as the state of Maryland since at least 2002, according to the lawsuit filed by Delaware on Feb. 26, 2009.

Aslin, Inc. and Simpson Log Homes are no longer operating. However, Richard and Rosemary Aslin are operating a log home building company called Lockwood Building and Supply in Dover.

Rosemary Aslin referred the Dover Post to attorney Lou Rizzo of Reger, Rizzo & Darnall in Wilmington for questions.

Aslin, Inc. and Simpson Log Homes settled with the state from a cost analysis standpoint, Rizzo said.

"My clients were confident that the trial scheduled to commence this week was going to have a favorable result and a jury was going to confirm that their construction work was appropriate," Rizzo said. "And I think the state reached that same conclusion and that’s why they reached a settlement for $75,000, which was less than what my client paid in legal fees for the case."

It was also significantly less than the $1 million in fees, fines and restitution the state was claiming for what it alleged, he said.

Back in February 2009, the Attorney General’s Consumer Protection Unit filed the civil lawsuit against the Aslins in Delaware Superior Court following its investigation of multiple homebuyer complaints alleging fraud and substandard construction practices against Aslin Inc. and Simpson Log Homes, according to the cease and desist agreement reached pursuant to state law. The lawsuit alleged that the Aslins, through their companies Aslin, Inc. and Simpson Log Homes, violated Delaware’s Consumer Fraud and Deceptive Trade Practices statutes.

The Cease and Desist Order, which the defendants have agreed to, resolves the pending lawsuit.  Both Richard and Rosemary Aslin signed the state order on Friday.

Among other things, the order prohibits the Aslins from building homes with substandard workmanship substituting cheaper or inferior materials for their work.

“They’ve agreed to abide by the laws on the books and that’s what they’ve always done and intend to continue to do,” Rizzo said.

The Aslins must pay $30,000 in restitution by March 30 and $45,000 by June 19, according to the agreement with the state. Failure to make timely payment will result in an initial penalty of $15,000 and an additional penalty of $1,000 a day until final payment is made.