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June 29, 2011

Judge Orders Omaha Contractor to Comply with AG Subpoena

(DES MOINES, Iowa)   A Polk County District Court Judge ordered an Omaha business and its owner to comply with an attorney general subpoena seeking information about the company’s business practices, and prohibited the contractor from doing business in Iowa until he fully complies with the subpoena.

Polk County District Judge Richard G. Blane, II ordered Mark Schneidewind, president of NationWide Construction, Inc. (also doing business in Omaha as Midwest Restorations), to comply with a May 27, 2010 investigative subpoena.  The Consumer Protection Division served the subpoena after three Iowa consumers filed complaints against the Schneidewind and his company.  Consumers complained about the defendants’ failure to provide services following payment, substandard services and misrepresentations.

In his judicial subpoena enforcement request, Miller also alleged:

  • The defendants’ contract with one consumer violated Iowa’s Door-to-Door Sales Act, including failing to disclose the consumer’s right to cancel and failing to honor a valid notice of cancellation.
  • The defendants were doing business in Iowa but were not registered contractors with Iowa Workforce Development, as the law requires.
  • The defendants repeatedly avoided and delayed responses to the Consumer Protection Division’s inquiries, and then made multiple misrepresentations.
  • The defendants misrepresented NationWide Construction as a member of the Better Business Bureau (BBB).  According to the BBB, which has fielded 45 consumer complaints and gave NationWide an “F” rating, the company is not a member.

Under the June 14th court order, the defendants must appear and provide complete information to the Attorney General.  Until then, the defendants are prohibited from advertising, offering or selling any merchandise or services, or accepting or attempting to collect any payments in Iowa.  The defendants must also pay the costs of the lawsuit and $14,430 for the cost of the investigation.  Should the defendants violate the court order, the court may fine them up to $5,000 a day for each day that they are in violation of the order as well as find them in contempt of the court order which could result in additional financial penalties and jail time.

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