A Grand Forks landscaper is facing charges for, among other things, not completing projects that clients had already paid for and working illegally in North Dakota.
Nicholas Derosier, the principal of Team Lawn and Vaughn Construction, was banned from doing business in North Dakota last year by a court order, which was issued after not complying with a subpoena in a civil case brought forward by North Dakota Attorney General Wayne Stenehjem.
He has been charged with two counts of issuing a check valuing more than $1,000 without an account, and one count each of theft by deception of $1,000 to $10,000, construction fraud valuing less than $10,000, contracting without a license, disobedience of a judicial order and forgery.
According to court documents, Derosier has allegedly accepted payments for multiple projects since the court order was issued and has abandoned projects after accepting payment for them. On April 20, Derosier accepted $2303 from a Grand Forks property owner to complete projects on her property, but the work was never started. He also accepted an additional $2,500 down payment for a job on her property that was started but never completed, according to court documents.
Derosier also is accused of writing checks from a United Valley Bank account that was closed by the bank. These checks include a $420 check to an Oak Farm, Minn., tree nursery, a $399 check to Grand Forks company Hebron Brick Supply Co., a $260 check to Strata Corp. and a $199 check to Patio World. He is also accused of writing a $4,163 check to his own company and attempting to cash it at a Wells Fargo Bank.
In total, Derosier obtained or attempted to obtain merchandise, services and money totaling $5,442 with the intent to deprive the owners of those goods and services, court documents allege.
Derosier and his companies are listed as defendants in eight civil cases in Grand Forks County since 2017.
If convicted, Derosier faces a maximum penalty of five years in prison and a $10,000 fine for each count of issuing a check without an account, theft and construction fraud. He faces a maximum penalty of one year in prison and a $3,000 fine for each additional charge for which he is convicted.
He is scheduled to appear for a preliminary hearing and arraignment on Dec. 14 for his criminal case. In his civil case against the state of North Dakota, he is next scheduled to appear on Jan. 11.