CHEYENNE – The Wyoming Attorney General’s Office has reached a consent judgment with a former Cheyenne handyman shop and its owner for violating the Wyoming Consumer Protection Act.
Grandpa’s Shop LLC and its owner, Luke Christensen, entered into a consent judgment, which was filed in Laramie County District Court on Dec. 5. The AG sent out a news release about the consent agreement Wednesday.
If people feel like they were wronged by Grandpa’s Shop, they can submit a Consumer Refund Claim to the AG during the repayment period. The repayment period for Christensen is estimated to be about seven years to return more than $80,000 to wronged consumers, according to the news release.
This repayment period might be longer if more consumers come forward and qualify for relief. The AG will then determine whether the consumer qualifies for a relief under the terms of the consent judgment.
The consent judgment allows Christensen to resolve the accusations laid out in a complaint the AG filed in district court Nov. 22. The complaint stated the shop “engaged in a pattern of unfair and deceptive trade practices against residents of Wyoming through transactions for contractor/handyman services for consumers’ homes.”
Grandpa’s Shop LLC operated from Sept. 12, 2012, to Nov. 9, 2018. The shop and Christensen had its contractors license revoked by the city of Cheyenne in July 2017, but continued to offer those services, according to the complaint.
People would hire Grandpa’s Shop to do various home renovation tasks and the shop would leave “certain consumers’ homes unfinished and in a state of disrepair,” the complaint said. The shop also took money from customers, promising home renovation services, and either didn’t begin work on the home or would work on the home without proper permitting.
This work was often “red tagged” by city officials, and some consumers would have to hire other contractors to fix Grandpa’s Shop’s work, according to the complaint.
Christensen challenged that assertion earlier this month and told the Wyoming Tribune Eagle that the AG’s complaint is filled with falsehoods and misinformation. But in an email response to Christensen’s comments, Attorney General Bridget Hill stood by the information in the complaint and said it was the result of a thorough, year-and-a-half investigation.
The consent judgment bans Christensen from working in the home improvement field for five years, unless he is the direct employee of a licensed contractor in Wyoming. He also cannot own or act as a principal in any home improvement business until all refunds are paid.
The repayments Christensen owes must paid on a quarterly basis and meet a minimum of $3,000. If Christensen fails to pay, he could have a judgment of more than $100,000 in civil penalties against him. In the complaint, the AG was seeking a maximum of $10,000 imposed for each violation of the Wyoming Consumer Protection Act and $15,000 for each violation where the victim is over 60 years old.
Christensen is also prohibited from appealing or challenging the consent judgment and waives any potential defect with the AG’s complaint or consent judgment, according to the judgment. The judgment was also approved by a district judge.
The AG said she thanks the consumers who came forward and reported Grandpa’s Shop to them, and notes that strict enforcement of the Wyoming Consumer Protection Act serves the interest of consumers and law-abiding businesses in Wyoming.