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DL man gets jail, probation for theft by swindle

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A Detroit Lakes man was convicted and sentenced Wednesday in Becker County District Court on two felony counts of theft by swindle.

Blake Andrew Sundvor, 30, of 28253 Mountain Road, Detroit Lakes, was given a stayed prison sentence on conditions including completion of 90 days in jail and up to 10 years of supervised probation. He was also ordered to pay $85 in court fines and fees. A third theft by swindle charge was dismissed at sentencing.

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Sundvor was accused of falsely contracting with individuals in California, Ohio, Montana and Michigan; as well as Alberta and British Columbia in Canada, for the sale of products and/or services on which he never delivered. The total value of the services/products identified in the complaint was approximately $45,000.

According to the criminal complaint, Sundvor allegedly contracted with a California man via the Internet to perform a duramax conversion and other mechanical work on a 1993 H-1 Hummer in September 2008. The complainant, identified as R.J., said Sundvor was paid in excess of $$20,500 for the work, yet according to an independent mechanic who evaluated the vehicle in February 2009, it would require approximately $10,000 in repairs just to bring it back to its original condition.

Another complainant from Ohio, identified as C.W., alleged that on July 1, 2009, he had paid $3,253 via eBay for a complete interior of an H-1 Hummer that was never delivered; the account to which the money was paid was registered to Sundvor.

On March 23, 2010, another complainant from Alberta, identified as J.F., said that he had contacted Sundvor via the "HummerXForum" website regarding the purchase of an engine for his 1993 H-1 Hummer. He towed the vehicle to Sundvor's residence in Detroit Lakes in August 2009, after allegedly reaching an agreement with Sundvor to do the work for $5,000. While there, J.F. agreed to purchase more parts for the vehicle, for a total parts order of around $12,000. He left his vehicle and a $5,500 deposit with Sundvor while he and his family were on vacation, for about five weeks.

Sundvor allegedly agreed to have all the work done and parts installed or available by the end of September 2009. Two weeks later, Sundvor informed J.F. that he had spent the deposit money and could not afford to purchase a new engine for the vehicle. J.F. agreed to purchase a new engine and have it shipped to Sundvor's residence, which he did. He returned to Detroit Lakes on Oct. 8, 2009 to find that a fraction of the work promised had been per-formed, and the new engine was still sitting there in its original plastic wrap.

J.F. agreed to stay with Sundvor to help him do the work, and paid another $$15,000 for parts that were never installed, "under duress of defend-ant's threats of a mechanic's lien, in order to leave peacefully with the vehicle." Upon returning to Canada, J.F. had the vehicle inspected, and found that some of the parts supposedly replaced had never been changed, but instead were simply painted over. The professional who inspected the vehicle said the vehicle modifications "were either not performed or performed so poorly that they had to be redone, and that there was absolutely no value (to the vehicle) for the money J.F. paid defendant."

Another complainant, R.V. from Montana, said he had paid $9,000 to Sundvor to purchase certain parts, on the promise that he would get advertising for his diesel business in Diesel Power magazine if he did so. The complainant never received the promised parts, but agreed to drive his vehicle to Sundvor's Detroit Lakes residence, so Sundvor could install the parts for free.

After doing so, R.V. realized Sundvor did not have the capabilities he claimed to have, and also talked with J.F. about how Sundvor had not followed through on promises and/or made excuses for why the work wasn't done.

R.V. took a $7,800 check and a 12-valve head from Sundvor in lieu of the parts promised; payment on the check was later stopped, and the part was a "cut off, used head without valves."

Another complainant, D.R. from Michigan, also claimed that he had wired $5,000 to Sundvor on Jan. 21, 2010, for the purchase of parts that were never received.

Yet another complain-ant, B.C. of British Columbia, also said he had wired $2,870 to Sundvor on Dec. 2, 2009 for the purchase of new vehicle parts for his diesel con-version business. The parts never arrived.

Sundvor, who also goes by the name Blake Mastin, was briefly famous in 2010 for claiming that he invented the cap to plug the Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. A BP spokesman denied the claim, saying the capping system used in the oil spill was not based on Sundvor's design.

Sundvor has a long criminal record, and "has a history of telling tales and duping business partners," according to a July 2010 story that appeared in the Detroit Lakes Tribune.

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