Attorney general files fraud suit against Northland landscaping company

CLAY COUNTY — Missouri Attorney General Eric Schmitt filed a consumer fraud lawsuit against Northland landscaping company Four Seasons Lawn & Landscape LLC and its owner, John Cazzell, claiming the company took upfront payments from customers then did not complete the contracted work. The landscaping company office is located in the 1600 block of Northwest Vivion Road in Kansas City.

The suit cites three instances, two from Clay County and one from Platte County, where thousands of dollars in payments were taken by Cazzell and work was never completed despite the customers calling Cazzell multiple times in multiple months. The case levels three law violations against Cazzell and the company: false promise, unfair practice and misrepresentation.

“Defendants routinely promised consumers that work would be completed in a timely manner. Despite consumers paying in advance on condition of these promises, defendants failed to provide the promised lawn and landscape services,” states the lawsuit.

A Better Business Bureau check of the company shows it is not accredited and has a rating of “F,” with three consumer complaints listed that report payments were taken but no work was done with little to no communication from Cazzell about when work would begin.

The AG's suit seeks full restitution for consumers who lost money and an amount of money equal to 10% of the total restitution ordered plus a $1,000 civil penalty and all court costs.

On Thursday, Jan. 9, Cazzell told the Courier-Tribune he was served papers regarding the lawsuit a few days ago, but is confused as to why a suit was filed. The company owner and operator said he spoke with the attorney general and told Schmitt he would have customers refunded money they paid him within nine months.

"I guess I'm going to have to get my lawyer involved," he said, adding he would review the lawsuit and provide further comments to the Courier-Tribune on complaints lodged against him and his business practices "later."

"I don't know what the big deal is. I can't understand why the media is involved," he said.

On Monday, Jan. 13, Cazzell said he had serious medical issues that prevented him from working for long periods of time, adding the three people listed in the attorney general's suit will be paid back.

Cazzell said media reports on the lawsuit are painting his more-than-40-year career in an unfair and bad light as well as causing damage to his business.

"I've done all the biggest places in Kansas City in work. To have all of this come down on me all of sudden after my illnesses, I just can't believe it."

Managing Editor Amanda Lubinski can be reached at amanda.lubinski@mycouriertribune.com or 903-6001.

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