State authorities allege that contractors doing business along the Jersey Shore used deceptive practices to obtain more than $1.3 million in federal relief funds from 12 homeowners who sought to have their damaged homes rebuilt, elevated and/or repaired after Superstorm Sandy.

CRA Construction and Home Elevations and TMB Services, LLC, along with the companies' owners, allegedly took homeowner money and then failed to begin work and/or abandoned unfinished projects without returning for weeks, months or at all, according to state authorities. 

The victims received money from the Reconstruction, Rehabilitation, Elevation and Mitigation (RREM) program to pay for construction work on Sandy-damaged homes. The RREM Program is the state's largest rebuilding initiative.

"The ongoing heartbreak of New Jersey residents displaced by Sandy should not be made worse by the illegal actions of unscrupulous contractors," said Attorney General Christopher S. Porrino in a release. "We will continue to pursue any and all allegations of contractor fraud, especially those relating to Sandy and the misuse of federal funds."

Both complaints seek consumer restitution and a permanent ban on the companies' owners owning, operating or managing any business that performs home improvements, including home elevations, within New Jersey.

The public can report consumer abuse by calling 1-800-242-5846.