DES MOINES, Iowa (WHO) – A Des Moines-based custodial and janitorial company will have to pay a hefty penalty for what the Iowa Attorney General’s Office says is a violation of the Consumer Fraud Act.

According to the Iowa AG’s Office, Heritage Building Maintenance claimed the antimicrobial cleaning process they were licensed to use from Science-Proven Microbial Control provided protection against COVID-19 transmission on surfaces for 30, 60, or 90 days after application.

The settlement that was reached means Heritage Group, Heritage Microbial Control LLC, SPMC LLC and Joseph Johnson must pay a $75,000 penalty as well as offer refunds to customers. The service was sold to around 65 customers in the metro including school districts, medical facilities, municipalities, and large employers.

“As the pandemic began, we shared concerns that companies would try to sell cleaning services based on unfounded claims to prevent the coronavirus, wasting Iowans’ money and potentially harming their health,” Iowa Attorney General Tom Miller said. “We were pleased to come to a resolution with Heritage Building Maintenance and to finalize this agreement that refunds customers and puts an end to these claims.” 

The parties named in the settlement denied wrongdoing.