Police: Man scammed more than 50 people with fake snowplowing business
Chili, N.Y. (WHAM) – A Chili man was arrested Tuesday after Monroe County Sheriff's investigators say he scammed more than 50 people in an online snowplow scheme.
Charles Stevens, 29, is accused of posting an ad online in late November using the Nextdoor app, advertising snowplowing services for the 2017-2018. The ad was for people living in the 14624 zip code.
A Monroe County Sheriff's deputy responded to an initial report about several people in the neighborhood who responded to the ad. The group of people said they had met individually with Stevens, signed contracts, and paid a $120 fee upfront.
When the first snowfall of the season happened, Stevens allegedly did not follow through on the agreed contracts. The people who signed the contracts said their driveways were not staked or plowed.
Silas Hulse claims he was one of those customers who signed a contract.
"He never staked my driveway," Hulse said. "I text him back when my wife was getting a little nervous."
He says Stevens never text him back.
Upon further investigation, deputies learned Stevens had a suspended NYS driver’s license and did not own a vehicle. As more people came forward reporting they too were scammed, other deputies began taking reports.
To date, there are believed to be at least 50 victims, several of whom are senior citizens.
Stevens was charged with one count of felony scheme to defraud 1st and 15 counts of petit larceny.
Stevens was arraigned and remanded to the Monroe County Jail in lieu of $2,000 cash or $4,000 bond. More charges may be pending.
Anyone who think they may have been a victim of this scam should call 911.