Home >

September 18, 2018
For More Information, contact:
Mike Lewis (334) 353-2199
Steve Marshall Joy Patterson (334) 242-7491
Page 1 of 2
Alabama Attorney General

(MONTGOMERY) – Attorney General Steve Marshall announced that a Calhoun County
Circuit Court on Friday granted a preliminary injunction against a plumbing operation that had
conducted dangerous and deceptive practices in several northeast Alabama counties.
In the order, Judge Brian P. Howell found good cause to believe that defendants American
Plumbing, Richard Joshua Pesnell, Jessica Pesnell, and Richard G. Pesnell had engaged in acts
or practices that violate the Deceptive Trade Practices Act. The preliminary injunction extends
protections that were put in place by a temporary restraining order the Court granted at
Attorney General Marshall’s emergency request on August 3. The corporate defendants’ assets
have been frozen and a receiver is in place to handle financial matters and accept claims from
Attorney General Marshall was joined by the Alabama Board of Electrical Contractors, the
Alabama Department of Public Health, the Alabama Liquefied Petroleum Gas Board, the
Alabama Onsite Wastewater Board, and the Alabama Plumbers and Gas Fitters Examining
Board. The State’s lawsuit was filed against a set of defendants operating as a common
enterprise: American Plumbing and Septic Service LLC, American Plumbing and Septic Service,
LLC doing business as A American Drain Cleaning & Plumbing Service, and individuals
affiliated as owners and incorporators, Richard Joshua Pesnell, Jessica Pesnell and Richard G.
Pesnell. The State is seeking a total of $1.4 million in penalties and more than $118,270 in
restitution for consumer victims.
Consumers should contact the receiver’s office directly by calling 786-347-2562 or 305-722-8895
or by sending emails to americanplumbingreceivership@lklsg.com.* Due to a high volume of
calls, consumers may sometimes reach voicemail and their calls will be returned. Letters may
also be sent to the receiver, Jeffrey C. Schneider, and the receivership administrator, Ana
Salazar, at Levine Kellogg Lehman Schneider + Grossman LLP, 201 South Biscayne Boulevard,
22 Floor, Miami, FL, 33131. *If consumers have already contacted the receiver, there is no need to do
so again unless they are seeking or need to provide additional information.
“I am pleased that the Court has taken our concerns seriously and extended our ability to
protect consumers from further harm,” said Attorney General Marshall. “We presented
extensive evidence and numerous consumers testified at a three-day hearing. Many of these
consumers were vulnerable and in dire need when they turned to the defendants for help, and
instead, they were met with lies and exploitation. This case is an example of excellent teamwork
among state agencies to protect consumers and stop these kinds of abusive practices.”
501 Washington Avenue * Montgomery, AL 36104 * (334) 242-7300
www.ago.state.al.us Page 2 of 2

Jeffrey C. Schneider, the receiver appointed by the court to handle financial matters and assist
consumers in this case, said “I am honored and privileged to serve as receiver for the benefit of
the victims of these unfortunate practices. My office stands ready to provide information,
answer consumer questions, and provide assistance as possible.”
Despite the defendants’ advertised assurances of free estimates, senior discounts and promises
to work with customers to guarantee their satisfaction, their actual practices as outlined in the
State’s complaint tell a far different story. These include numerous instances of refusal to give
an estimate when consumers repeatedly ask, charging exorbitant prices beyond anything earlier
suggested when an estimate was given, claiming the need for huge repairs when they were
called for minor jobs, starting major work without permission and leaving things torn apart for
consumers to have to hire someone else to finish, pressuring consumers to take out loans and
even taking out a loan in a consumer’s name without his knowledge or permission, and
intimidation tactics such as refusing to leave the consumer’s property when being told to go.
Furthermore, the defendants did not have required licenses to perform certain jobs and much of
their work was substandard and created hazardous conditions.
The State’s lawsuit references 33 known victims in Calhoun, Talladega, Randolph, St. Clair,
Etowah and Marshall counties. Other affected consumers are encouraged to contact the
James M. Morgan, Executive Director of the Plumbers & Gas Fitters Board, said, “This is a win
for Alabama consumers. The State of Alabama Plumbers and Gas Fitters Examining Board and
its staff are proud to have been a part of this effort by the Attorney General’s Office. We hope
this sends a message to those who may not have the public’s best interests at heart.”
The Alabama Board of Electrical Contractors and its executive director, Keith E. Warren,
congratulated the board’s attorney, Hendon Coody, and investigator, Mike James, as well as the
Attorney General’s Office, the Alabama Department of Public Health, the Alabama Liquefied
Petroleum Gas Board, the Alabama Onsite Wastewater Board, and the Alabama Plumbers and
Gas Fitters Examining Board. Warren said, “The people of Alabama deserve to trust that
businesses in this state operate legitimately and abide by the law, including being properly
licensed for the work they are performing and being honest and truthful with consumers. It’s a
great win for the people of Alabama.”

Attorney General Marshall commended the staff of his Consumer Interest Division and thanked
the Alabama Board of Electrical Contractors, the Alabama Department of Public Health, the
Alabama Liquefied Petroleum Gas Board, the Alabama Onsite Wastewater Board and the
Alabama Plumbers and Gas Fitters Examining Board, for their dedication in moving this case
forward to protect consumers. Additionally, Attorney General Marshall thanked the City of
Anniston Building Inspection Services Division, the City of Oxford Building Department, the
City of Jacksonville Building Division, Sheriff Matthew Wade and the Calhoun County Sheriff’s
Office, and Chief Bill Partridge and the Oxford Police Department, for their invaluable
assistance in this case.