Media Contact: Liz Brocker (701) 328-2213
BISMARCK, ND – Attorney General Wayne Stenehjem has issued two Cease & Desist Orders against fraudulent business operators who violated the state’s consumer fraud and licensing laws.
Christapher Thomas advertised on the Bismarck Area Classifieds Facebook group. The consumer protection division investigated after receiving a complaint in December 2019, that Thomas took an advance payment from a homeowner to complete several jobs. Thomas showed up once to prepare a room for painting, but once the payment cleared, Thomas never returned. Thomas’ last known address is in Nampa, Idaho. Thomas initially told investigators he would provide a full refund to the homeowner, but since then he has refused to respond to any communications or provide a refund. Thomas is banned from conducting any further business in North Dakota.
William Wilson, John Lovell, and Charles Lovell, doing business under several business names including William Wilson Contracting, Industrial Paving & Coatings, and William Wilson & Charles Lovell Painting, are banned from doing business in North Dakota. Wilson and the Lovells have addresses in Florida and Delaware. They registered fictitious businesses in North Dakota using the mailing address of ND UPS stores to make it appear they were operating from permanent locations in the state. None of them are licensed as transient merchants. Instead, they operate an asphalt paving scam, soliciting homeowners to repair or replace asphalt driveways and taking advance payments which they cash immediately before beginning the job. As soon as the asphalt is laid, they move on to the next location before the homeowner discovers the shoddy workmanship and poor quality of asphalt. One homeowner contacted the consumer protection division after he discovered the supposed three inch thick layer of asphalt was as thin as one inch and was easily broken. In that instance, investigators were able to obtain a refund for the homeowner.
Attorney General Stenehjem urged homeowners to make sure anyone they hire to do home improvement or repair work is properly licensed in North Dakota.
Any person or company conducting temporary or transient business in North Dakota, whether in one location or when traveling from place to place, is required to obtain a Transient Merchant’s license from the Attorney General’s office. Contractors doing work valued at more than $4,000 must be licensed with the ND Secretary of State.
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