Attorney general Wayne Stenehjem has issued cease and desist orders against three unlicensed contractors for violations of North Dakota's consumer fraud laws.
Grant Nelson, doing business as Service Pro Plumbing Inc. of Yacolt and Battle Ground, Wash.; Jeff Lafountain, doing business as Gittr Done Construction of Dunseith and Mohall; and Thomas Lantto, doing business as Tom Lantto Builders, formerly of Williston, are banned from doing business in North Dakota.
The Attorney General's Consumer Protection Division initiated investigations after receiving complaints from consumers regarding the contractors' failure to properly complete home improvement projects. None of the contractors cooperated with the investigators.
Nelson received $40,825 from three consumers to repair sewer lines and install heating and cooling systems, but failed to properly install the appliances or finish the projects. He has been criminally charged in McKenzie County with 19 counts of failure to have a plumber's license.
Lafountain received $8,994 from a consumer to repair a roof, but failed to complete the job. He later admitted to an investigator he had also worked on other home improvement projects in the Mohall area.
Lantto received a $12,000 advance deposit to build a garage but didn't order any materials or apply for a building permit. He later refunded the deposit and has since left North Dakota.
Stenehjem urged consumers to make sure a contractor has the required licenses before making an advance payment.
"Contractors who are
unlicensed usually are more likely to take money and not do the work or not properly complete the work" Stenehjem said in a press release.
North Dakota consumers can submit a complaint form online at (www.ag.nd.gov) or by contacting the Consumer Protection Division at 328-3404.