Neronha files complaint against ‘deceptive’ contractor

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) – Rhode Island Attorney General Peter Neronha’s office has filed a complaint against a local contractor who’s been accused of “engaging in unfair and deceptive business practices.”

Michael Bresette, according to Neronha, would target vulnerable Rhode Islanders, such as the elderly and those whose homes were damaged by flooding or fire through his two contracting companies: BTTR LLC and HAM Inc.

Neronha said Bresette would show up unannounced at his victim’s homes. Bresette would then pressure to resident sign documents allowing him to work on their properties.

But after that, court documents reveal that Bresette “cut corners, failed to secure needed permits, performed improper work and pocketed money from homeowners or insurance proceeds.”

In most cases, Bresette’s victims were left with “incomplete, dangerous, or improper restoration and construction work in their home,” according to court documents.

Neronha said despite this, Bresette would demand the victims pay him or he would take them to court, and in some cases he would put a lien on their home.

This is not the first time complaints have been lodged against Bresette and his companies. Court filings reveal that in 2020, the Department of Business Regulation (DBR) received nine complaints against Bresette.

The slew of complaints prompted the DBR to suspend Bresette’s contractor registration. But that didn’t stop Bresette from continuing to prey on vulnerable homeowners, according to Neronha.

“He had simply blown [the DBR] off,” Neronha said of Bresette.

Neronha’s complaint accuses Bresette of violating the state’s Deceptive Trade Practices Act, which was tweaked last year to better protect consumers.

The new law allows Neronha to take legal action against businesses that are regulated by other states or federal agencies, but only if they’re negatively impacting Rhode Islanders.

Prior to that, it would be up to the agency overseeing the business to step in.

“We want to make sure that this individual … doesn’t have the opportunity to rip off more Rhode Island consumers,” Neronha said.

Bresette has been ordered not to take on any new clients or engage with former clients. His assets have also been frozen.

12 News reached out to Bresette’s attorney regarding the complaint but has not yet heard back.