A Minnesota man was arrested earlier this week and is charged with stealing more than $50,000 after an investigation by the Better Business Bureau Serving Wisconsin, which referred the case to the Wisconsin Department of Justice.
The Wisconsin DOJ charged Matthew D. Erickson of Cottage Grove, Minnesota, with two felony and three misdemeanor counts of theft in a business setting. Erickson and his business, Snow Angels, was contracted to perform snow removal services that were never rendered, according to DOJ. There have been 111 victims in nine states: Wisconsin, Connecticut, Illinois, Massachusetts, Maine, Michigan, Minnesota, New York and Rhode Island. Many of Erickson’s victims are older than age 60.
The case was referred to DOJ after the BBB received two complaints from consumers in January. In its investigation of the company, the BBB discovered additional addresses in Illinois and Minnesota, which turned out to be UPS stores. Less than two weeks after receiving the complaints, the BBB referred the case to the Wisconsin Attorney General. Twenty-five complaints have been received by the BBB, including ten from Wisconsin.
“This is what we do. The BBB regularly investigates companies and refers cases we feel are warranted for further action to law enforcement and appropriate agencies,” says Jim Temmer, BBB Serving Wisconsin President/CEO. “We continually hold unreputable businesses accountable, thanks in part to the many dedicated accredited businesses who support the BBB’s mission and allow us to do the important work that we do.”
Erickson remains in custody in Minnesota and is awaiting extradition to Wisconsin.
BBB Wisconsin issued an alert on Snow Angels in February, 2014.
BBB reminds people to always check on companies before doing business. BBB offers more than five million free reports at bbb.org. In addition, BBB recommends never pay up-front, in full, and never pay in cash. Take time to check references and always get a written contract.
Anyone with additional information about Erickson or Snow Angels should contact the Wisconsin DOJ at 608-266-8063.
For more information or further inquiries, contact the Wisconsin BBB at www.bbb.org/wisconsin or 414-847-6000 (metro Milwaukee), 920-734-4352 (Appleton), or 1-800-273-1002 (elsewhere in Wisconsin). Consumers also can find more information about how to protect themselves from scams by following the Wisconsin BBB on Twitter, Facebook and You Tube.