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Pennsylvania man banned from doing business in ND for consumer fraud

BISMARCK — A Pennsylvania man operating a discount travel service under several fictitious names has been banned from doing business in North Dakota.

Thomas Joseph, who lists addresses in two Pennsylvania cities, violated the state's consumer fraud, transient merchant and business licensing laws, according to a Wednesday, Jan. 31, media release from Attorney General Wayne Stenehjem.

Stenehjem ordered Joseph to cease and desist operating his alleged discount travel club solicitations under business names Save on Resorts, Best Value Getaways, Southwest Getaways and Southwest Travel Services.

In late 2017, Joseph and his representatives held a seminar in Bismarck and had planned other seminars across the state to solicit memberships for a discount travel club, claiming to offer free airline tickets and other travel incentives.

Neither Joseph nor any of his representatives cooperated with investigators from the Consumer Protection Division, according to Stenehjem. Joseph and his business manager refused to answer questions about their operations or provide evidence of any actual discounts.

Instead, Joseph asked the Attorney General's office to not apply state consumer fraud laws to his businesses and to waive licensing requirements, which the office made clear it could not do.

Joseph may request a hearing within 10 days.