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March 18, 2014

BISMARCK, ND – Attorney General Wayne Stenehjem today issued Cease and Desist Orders against seven unlicensed contractors for violations of North Dakota’s consumer fraud laws, banning them from doing any business in North Dakota.

  • Michael Knudson of Minot, ND, doing business as MLK Construction,
  • Ed McDonald, d/b/a Asphalt Seal Coating and E. McDonald Seal Coatin with addresses in Texas, Iowa, and ND,
  • Thomas J. Zimmerle of Mandan, ND, d/b/a From Old To New Construction, LLP.
  • Jaymason W. Bottin of Bigfork, MT, d/b/a J2 Roofing & General Contracting,
  • Ryan Dalbec of Big Lake, MN, d/b/a Dalbec Property Management, Inc.,
  • Thomas Dohleman of Dilworth, MN, d/b/a Tom’s Painting, and
  • Kenny & Jessica Huffstutler of Dickinson, ND, d/b/a BCS Fence & Services, LLC.,

The Attorney General’s Consumer Protection Division initiated investigations after receiving complaints from consumers regarding the contractors’ failure to start, or to properly complete, projects for which consumers had made advance payments. None of the seven contractors had the required licenses, and none cooperated with investigators from the Consumer Protection Division.

“Never put down any money until you have made sure the contractor is properly licensed. Hiring an unlicensed contractor may prove to be very expensive as it is extremely difficult to recover money once they have fled the state,” said Stenehjem.

The unlicensed contractors from out of state, Ryan Dalbec, Jaymason Bottin, and Ed McDonald, have fled North Dakota and their current whereabouts are unknown. Although initially cooperative, Michael Knudson and Kenny & Jessica Huffstutler stopped responding to investigators. Criminal charges are pending in Cass County against Thomas Dohleman of Dillworth, MN. Criminal charges are pending in Morton County against Thomas Zimmerle of Mandan, ND.

Zimmerle continued soliciting work after his business, From Old To New Construction, LLP, was involuntarily dissolved and his contractor’s license expired. A North Dakota consumer complained that Zimmerle took $136,000 to build a home and failed to do any work or deliver any materials. The Consumer Protection division referred the case to Morton County state’s attorney. Zimmerle has been charged with theft of property and operating without a contractor’s license. 

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