BISMARCK – Attorney General Wayne Stenehjem today filed a lawsuit against contractor Steven Kapfer of Bismarck, doing business as Rebuilding Dreams, for violations of North Dakota’s consumer fraud law.
The Attorney General’s Consumer Protection division initiated an investigation after receiving several complaints that Kapfer failed to complete contracting work for which he had been paid.
Investigators determined that between July 2013 and May 2015, Kapfer took a total of $18,000 in advance payments from ten homeowners who hired him to complete small home repair and remodeling projects. Each project was small enough that Kapfer was not required to hold a contractor’s license. After delaying for several months, Kapfer finally started work on a couple of the projects but he did not complete them. He also refused to refund any of the advance payments. During the investigation, Kapfer appeared cooperative but investigators found he had provided misleading information in response to their inquiries.
“Mr. Kapfer misrepresented his ability to complete projects when he was accepting advance payments, ignored requests to return the money when he did not do the work, and misled investigators. I am asking the court to permanently ban him from future contracting work in the state,” said Stenehjem.
According to Parrell Grossman, Director of the Consumer Protection Division, Kapfer’s fraudulent business practices will have serious consequences. “In addition to being banned from future contracting work, Kapfer will be responsible for the $18,000 he owes to the homeowners as well as the costs of the investigation and any civil penalties imposed by the court,” Grossman said.
Contractors working on any project valued at over $4,000 must hold a license, issued by the Secretary of State’s office. Consumers can check online to see if a contractor is licensed, at http://sos.nd.gov/business/contractors.