BISMARCK, ND – Attorney General Wayne Stenehjem has issued a cease and desist order banning Chad Peda and Somer Hilleboe, doing business as CS Companies, Inc., of Horace, North Dakota, from conducting business in the state. Peda, who is a convicted felon, appears to have fled North Dakota.
The Consumer Protection division conducted an investigation after receiving a complaint from a consumer who had made an advance payment of $11,000 to Peda to demolish a garage and construct a new one. Peda never completed the work.
“Before paying any money to a contractor, check to make sure the contractor is legitimate and is properly licensed and bonded. It only takes a couple of minutes to check, but it could save you from losing both money and time,” said Stenehjem.
The investigators found that neither Peda nor Hilleboe had ever been licensed as contractors in North Dakota. After being contacted by investigators, Peda made a partial refund to the consumer who had filed the complaint.
Court records show that Peda has previous convictions in Ransom and Benson counties for theft of property for soliciting and accepting advance payments for construction projects and then failing to complete the work. He owes over $130,000 in restitution on those criminal cases.
Parrell Grossman, director of the Consumer Protection Division, reminded consumers that contractors must be licensed with the Secretary of State’s office if they perform work valued at $2,000 or more. Consumers can check the Secretary of State’s list of licensed contractors online at http://www.nd.gov/sos/ 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.