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Charges dismissed in Dent home construction case

Charges have been dismissed in a felony theft by swindle case involving Timothy Stoll, of Dent, and the contractor who built his home in 2015.

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The house at 41506 Fawn Oaks Road near Dent has been the subject of a dispute between the property owner and the home builder. (Elizabeth Vierkant/Focus)

Charges have been dismissed in a felony theft by swindle case involving Timothy Stoll, of Dent, and the contractor who built his home in 2015.

A motion to dismiss the charges was filed by Stoll this past May and was granted by District Court Judge Sharon G. Benson at the Otter Tail County Courthouse in early November. Benson cited lack of probable cause as the reason for dismissal.

Stoll was charged in February 2021 after a payment dispute with his home construction contractor, Dan Hokanson of D&M Roofing Company. Stoll had previously filed a civil lawsuit against Hokanson related to the same matter.

Court documents show that the two attempted several times to renegotiate the $297,000 price of construction of Stoll’s home on Fawn Oaks Road in Dent, but were unable to reach an agreement on the payment schedule and amount of money owed. Hokanson ceased construction in December 2016 after Stoll stopped making progress payments. Stoll claimed there was poor construction quality and in June of 2019 offered to pay Hokanson a reduced amount of $175,000, which Hokanson denied. Stoll then filed for bankruptcy.

According to Stoll’s attorney, Drew Hushka, the felony theft case could be appealed, but the recent dismissal is likely the end of it. Stoll’s bankruptcy case is still ongoing.

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In the order for dismissal, Judge Benson wrote that, “Any charge of theft that could be brought against Defendant (Stoll) would fail for lack of proper evidence. It is neither fair nor reasonable to send a case to jury when no viable conviction could possibly result from trial... None of this is to deny that Defendant has reaped a windfall. And none of this is to deny that the Contractor (Hokanson) is worthy of sympathy.”

Benson advised Hokanson to maintain more detailed payment contracts with homeowners in the future.

Construction on the home was later completed by another organization.

Order for Dismissal by inforumdocs on Scribd

Elizabeth (she/her), 23, graduated with a degree in Journalism and Communications from the University of Wisconsin–Stout in 2020. Elizabeth has always had a passion for telling stories about people and specializes in community features, which she uses for her Perham-centered content.
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