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June 16, 2014

BISMARCK, ND – Attorney General Wayne Stenehjem today issued Cease and Desist Orders against unlicensed contractors Raymond Knuppel of Harrison, Montana, doing business as Sealtite Restoration, and Matt Martin of Emerado & Devils Lake, ND, for misrepresentations and engaging in contractor services without the required state licenses. Knuppel and Martin are both banned from working or doing business in North Dakota.

According to Stenehjem, his Consumer Protection Division initiated an investigation of Sealtite Restoration after receiving a complaint from a general contractor that Knuppel refused to replace blown off shingles improperly installed on an apartment complex roof or to complete the remainder of the job. Knuppel admitted to the investigators that he had solicited work in Williston and been hired as a sub-contractor even though he was not licensed in this state.

“Hiring an unlicensed contractor is risky. You have no guarantee that the contractor even knows what he is doing and no recourse if the work is not done or not done properly, other than paying out more money to have a reputable licensed contractor fix it,” said Stenehjem.

Although initially cooperative, Knuppel stopped communicating with investigators and appears to have returned to Montana. While he was in North Dakota, information indicates that Knuppel had been paid almost $40,000 for work, some of which was unfinished when he left. Investigators understand that the Williston general contractor had to hire a licensed contractor to redo the work Knuppel had improperly done and to complete the remainder of the job.

Martin admitted to investigators that he was not licensed and also that he had performed work in the Devils Lake area on a steel roof in the amount of $4,000, but thereafter failed to respond to communications from the Consumer Protection Division. 

Parrell Grossman, director of the Consumer Protection Division, reminded general contractors of the requirement that they must ensure all their subcontractors are properly licensed and bonded with the state. He urged private individuals and businesses not to make any down payment until they have proof that all contractors and subcontractors have the required licenses. “It’s your hard-earned money, so take the time to check the paperwork and references from previous customers, and don’t risk losing more than you can afford,” he said.

Contractors, subcontractors, and employees of those companies must be licensed with the Secretary of State’s office if the company performs work valued at $2,000 or more. Consumers can check the Secretary of State’s list of licensed contractors online at or by calling (701) 328-2900. Complaints about unlicensed contractors can be filed with the Secretary of State or by contacting the Attorney General’s Consumer Protection Division at 701-328-3404.

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