More than $310k to be paid to consumers scammed by out-of-state solar panel companies

Nearly a dozen defendants accused of defrauding consumers looking to install solar panels will pay more than $310,000 in restitution in a settlement with the State of Minnesota.

On Friday, Attorney General Keith Ellison’s Office announced that as part of the settlement, Avolta Power, Inc., four related companies and their managers are no longer able to sell in Minnesota and are ordered to finish any outstanding projects for customers within the state by June 27, 2023. If they aren’t completed, they must be canceled without any penalties or fees.

According to Ellison’s office, customers of the companies will have funds given to them by December of this year.

As previously reported by 5 EYEWITNESS NEWS, the four Utah-based solar panel companies were involved in deceptive and fraudulent practices, and cost homeowners between $20,000 to more than $55,000.

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An investigation found companies and individuals violated state laws against consumer fraud when salespeople misrepresented who they worked for, how much money customers would save and what documents were being signed by the customer. In addition, Ellison’s office says the companies and salespeople used high-pressure tactics and misleading tactics.

Ellison issued the following prepared statement in a news release announcing the settlement:

“Deciding to install solar panels on your house is a big financial commitment. People who make it want to save themselves money and help improve the climate and environment for all of us. Companies that use aggressive, deceptive, door-to-door sales tactics not only hurt the homeowners they defraud, they hurt the entire solar-power industry and decades of efforts to create clean power in America. The judgements we’ve obtained in this case will make consumers whole and prevent these out-of-state companies from harming Minnesotans any further. Companies that exploit consumers’ desire to do the right thing have no place in Minnesota. Our lawsuit and these final settlements protect both consumers and legitimate businesses that comply with the law and provide a valuable product.”

Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison