BISMARCK, N.D. (NewsDakota.com) – A man fraudulently advertising that he provides moving services has been banned from doing business in North Dakota, announced Attorney General Wayne Stenehjem. His Consumer Protection division conducted an investigation into violations of the consumer fraud laws for false advertising and deceptive acts.
Steven Robert Engebos advertises his supposed moving services on Craigslist under various names including Great Plains Moving and Logistics, Integrity Movers, and IDIS. In his online ads, he falsely claims to be associated with legitimate North Dakota businesses, to have several employees and vehicles of his own, and that he is affiliated with military veterans. All these claims are lies.
“Don’t hire someone to move your belongings based on unsubstantiated claims you read in an online advertising website such as Craigslist,” said Stenehjem. “Do some basic checking, and use a reputable, established moving company that has a physical business location,” he continued.
Engebos has a history of falsehoods. In 2015, while he was under criminal investigation in Fargo for theft of property concerning a consumer’s missing household contents after he moved those contents, he gave a false name to law enforcement. In addition, Engebos recently falsely informed a Wisconsin law enforcement agency that he was living at a fictitious ND address.
In September 2016, the Attorney General initiated an investigation after receiving a complaint from a consumer that Engebos had failed to show up to complete a move, refused to provide a refund, and then ignored the consumer’s calls and text messages. During the investigation, investigators subpoenaed financial records and found at least 25 Craigslist transactions involving Engebos or one of his known associates, Gary Hoffart, but because Engebos ignored their efforts to communicate with him, they are not able to identify the consumers who hired him and may have lost money or personal property.
Parrell Grossman, director of the Consumer Protection Division, reminded people who anticipate an upcoming household move that, “A legitimate moving company will offer an on-site inspection of your household goods so that it can provide an accurate quote. You should insist on this inspection and then get a written estimate that lists everything agreed to before you pay anything.”
People who paid money to Engebos or one of his businesses can contact the consumer protection division at (701) 328-3404.
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