Minn. Man Accused of Defrauding Customers in Conn.

A Minnesota man is accused of running a snow removal scam in nine states, including Connecticut.

In February 2018, three viewers contacted NBC Connecticut Responds about Snow Angels LLC. All three consumers said they pre-paid the company for snow removal services they didn’t receive. Then the company shut down without warning.

Snow Angels LLC is owned by Matthew Erickson, 31, of Cottage Grove, Minn.

Erickson is currently awaiting extradition to Wisconsin, where he is facing five counts of theft.

According to a criminal complaint filed by the Wisconsin Attorney General, Erickson solicited customers online for pre-paid snow removal services, which he did not provide. The AG’s Office said most of the alleged victims are over the age of 60.

During the course of the investigation in Wisconsin, authorities uncovered similar complaints against Erickson in Connecticut, Illinois, Massachusetts, Maine, Michigan, New York and Rhode Island.

Authorities estimate Erickson collected $58,000 from more than 100 victims.

Investigators told NBC Connecticut Responds they had identified 10 potential victims in Connecticut. We provided them with the names of two additional Snow Angels customers who reached out to us.

John Provini contracted with Snow Angels to clear snow from his parents’ home in Newington. He paid $478 for coverage from October 2017 through May 2018. Provini said the company showed up twice. Then in February, he received an email from Snow Angels stating the company was shutting down.

When NBC Connecticut Responds contacted Snow Angels at the time, we received the following response by email:

“Regrettably, our company does not have the financial ability to continue providing service this season. We have managed to make it half way through winter, providing service to our customers. If we were out to scam anyone, we would not have spent so much money obtaining leads, making sales, and providing service as far as we have already following three snow events. We have since worked hard to achieve the route density necessary to make ends meet. There are no remaining assets nor is there any future for the company.”

Provini filed a dispute through his credit card company and got his money back. But he knows others weren’t as lucky.

“There’s a lot of people like my parents out there, elderly that really got taken. They really need the money. I hope they get something back,” he said.

Law enforcement officials told NBC Connecticut they expect to file more charges.

Online court records do not list an attorney for Erickson.

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