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ND issues fine in paving scam

BISMARCK — An asphalt paving company has been fined for trying to overcharge a North Dakota resident, state Attorney General Wayne Stenehjem’s office said.

Cooper’s Sealcoating & Asphalt run by Sylvester Cooper of Spiro, Okla., was not licensed by the state.

Stenehjem’s office checked on the company after a complaint by a rural resident who said Cooper had offered to pave a part of her property for a low cost because he had leftover asphalt from another job. Then he charged double what she believed the cost to be.

The attorney general said out-of-state pavers come to North Dakota every summer and some will try to scam residents and flee when complaints are made. The leftover-asphalt trick is a common one, he said.

Cooper has cooperated with investigators, promising to provide written estimates and obtain signed contracts before starting any work. He also paid a $5,000 fine and $5,000 restitution to the complainant.

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