Since COVID-19 restrictions began in 2020, the construction industry has seen a surge in orders for everything outdoors, from entertainment areas to swimming pools. But even as honest and hardworking contractors struggle to keep up with demand, a disturbingly large number of bad actors have also emerged, preying on unwary homeowners.
The latest fly-by-night operation to become exposed is Ultimate Pool Construction, and its owners, Dewayne Boswell and Austin Logan, of Little Rock, Arkansas.
Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge has filed a lawsuit against the men who also did business under the names Ultimate Builders, Logan Pool Construction, and UC Lawns and Ultimate Decks, for violating the Arkansas Deceptive Trade Practices Act (ADTPA).
The complaint alleges that Logan and Boswell advertised and accepted money from 17Arkansans to install inground pools that they failed to complete, costing the homeowners a cumulative $415,200.
“These cons took money from families who had saved for years to have their dream backyard,” said Attorney General Rutledge. “Logan and Boswell accepted tens of thousands of dollars from those families only to leave them with empty dreams and large empty holes in their yards.”
The Attorney General alleges that the defendants knowingly made false representations to consumers, claiming that they would install pools in 90 days. But after receiving money from customers, they would stop work on the projects, leaving the customers with nothing but holes in the ground. Furthermore, Logan is accused of violating the ADTPA by lying to customers that he was licensed through the Arkansas Contractors Licensing Board when he was not. He also told consumers he was insured when he was not. Using multiple business names further increased the consumer confusion created by these lies.
The lawsuits seeks restitution on behalf of the consumers, fines of $10,000 per violation of the deceptive trade practices act proven at trial. It also seeks an order requiring defendants to pay the cost of the litigation.
This lawsuit is actually the fourth that has been filed against one or both men and their affiliated companies.
The first was filed against Logan in December in Pulaski County Circuit Court by attorneys representing MacKenzie Pierce, a Sherwood resident who agreed to pay Logan $66,000 to build a pool, starting with a $16,000 down payment, according to the lawsuit. At Logan’s request, Pierce paid an additional $12,000.
No work has been done to date. According to the lawsuit, Logan hasn’t returned the $28,000 despite repeated demands.
Logan denied virtually all of Pierce’s allegations in the only formal response Logan has submitted in any of the litigation. His attorney also asked Pulaski County Circuit Judge Herb Wright to dismiss the lawsuit and order Pierce to pay his attorney fees.
Attorney General Rutledge is requesting those who believe they have been harmed by Logan, Boswell or Ultimate Pool Construction to file a consumerrelated claim with the Arkansas Attorney General’s Office by calling (800) 482-8982, email firstname.lastname@example.org or www.ArkansasAG.gov.