Former Lumber Supply Store Owner Allegedly Rips Off Customers

Owner steals more than $300,000.

HERMANTOWN, Minn. – A former lumber supply store owner is under investigation for allegedly ripping off customers.

He’s accused of stealing hundreds of thousands of dollars.

Hermantown Lumber Company had been in business for almost 50 years.

In June, the owner Gerald Sundquist stopped operations.

And many customers say he closed without fulfilling orders they already paid for.

The Hermantown police department has received multiple phone calls from people who say they have ordered products from the lumber company and never received them.

“The owner was very hard to get a hold of. Wouldn’t answer emails or respond to phone calls.”

One customer tells us he purchased windows for his new home in March.

He says he is now out of more than five thousand dollars.

“It just makes you sad to think that there’s people like that that have no issue doing it to anybody. There’s a lot of other people experiencing the same thing right now. Its hard earned money that we work for and he just takes it and walks away,” said Isaac Dull.

Authorities say the unfulfilled orders total more than $300,000 and counting.

City leaders believe incidents like this can possibly tarnish relationships with small businesses.

“I think overall people can still feel comfortable with folks they do business with, but this does kind of shines light. You want to do your due diligence as a member in the community when you place these types of orders and that work is going forward as it is,” said Hermantown Communications Manager Joe Wicklund.

The customers involved are now left to decide where to go from here.

“I have to buy windows again. So hopefully it will end up in court and get some money back. It’s probably unlikely,” Dull expresses.

Minardi Millwork and Lumber recently started business out of the location previously used by Hermantown Lumber.

Investigators say the new owners had no knowledge of any business dealings done by Hermantown Lumber.

Police have yet to charge anyone in this case.

They are hoping more customers will come forward to help build their investigation.

If anyone has an unfulfilled order from Hermantown Lumber they are urged to contact Hermantown Police at 218-729-1200.

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