Bryan Cohen Nov. 18, 2013, 7:11pm

BISMARCK, N.D. (Legal Newsline) - North Dakota Attorney General Wayne Stenehjem has announced a cease and desist order against the Wisconsin owner of a company that allegedly sent bogus invoices to several businesses in North Dakota.

Andrew Shaw, doing business as Dakota Union Labor Guide, Union Labor Guide, Wisconsin Union Labor Guide and Saint Louis Union Labor Guide LLC, allegedly sent fake invoices for advertising services to multiple North Dakota businesses. Shaw, who also went by the name of Andrew or Andy Austin, allegedly mailed unsolicited invoices to North Dakota businesses claiming the companies owed $175 for supposed advertisements in trade publications.

"The success of Shaw's scam depended in part on his use of words that have a valid purpose," Stenehjem said. "Scam artists often create phony businesses with names similar to legitimate enterprises because it makes it harder for the consumer to identify the phony businesses."

Multiple North Dakota businesses made payment on the allegedly fake invoices multiple times before realizing they never authorized or ordered the services.

Stenehjem's Consumer Protection Division looked into reports from the businesses and alleged Shaw and his companies engaged in deceptive practices.

As part of the cease and desist order, Shaw and his companies were banned from doing business in North Dakota.

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