BISMARCK, N.D. (Legal Newsline) - North Dakota Attorney General Wayne Stenehjem announced a fine on Friday against an Oklahoma asphalt paving company that allegedly failed to complete the process to obtain a state contractor's license.
Sylvester Cooper, doing business as Cooper's Sealcoating & Asphalt, allegedly submitted a partial application for a contractor's license to the North Dakota Secretary of State's Office and was notified the application was incomplete. Cooper allegedly completed work and took payment even though he was not licensed.
"Every summer we see out of state paving companies arriving in North Dakota," Stenehjem said. "Some are reputable companies following the available work, but many are fly-by-night operators who target rural communities, do poor quality work, and then flee the state before the complaints come in."
Stenehjem's Consumer Protection Division contracted Cooper's Sealcoating & Asphalt after receiving a complaint from a resident in a rural area alleging Cooper was selling his services door-to-door. Cooper allegedly offered to use leftover asphalt from a job in the local area and refused to give a written quote until the asphalt had been spread. After the asphalt was spread, Cooper allegedly charged approximately double what he led the resident to believe the job would cost.
Cooper cooperated with Stenehjem's office, completed all requirements to obtain the state contractor's license and entered into an assurance of voluntary compliance. Under the terms of the agreement, Cooper must pay $5,000 in restitution and a $5,000 fine. Cooper also agreed to provide accurate written cost estimates and obtain signed contracts prior to starting any jobs.