Montana Commissioner Orders Man to Pay $168K, Sold Fake Surety Bonds

Montana’s insurance commissioner has ordered a North Dakota man to pay $168,000 in fines and restitution for selling fake surety bonds for a construction project on the Fort Belknap Indian Reservation.

The commissioner’s office alleged Dennis Lyon, also known Robert Joe Hanson, received nearly $150,000 from the Gros Ventre (groh-VAWNT’) and Assiniboine (uh-SINN’-uh-boyn) Tribes in 2010 for bonds to guarantee construction work on the tribal college would be completed.

Insurance Commissioner Monica Lindeen says Lyon was not licensed to sell bonds in Montana, sold them through an unregistered corporation and did not provide coverage for the projects.

Lyon, who lives in New Town, N.D., was barred from the insurance industry in Montana in 2007 after selling illegal bonds for construction projects in Bozeman, Malta and Ashland. He still owes $490,000 in that case.