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AG seeking jail time for accused WNY snow plow scammer

Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman on Tuesday announced his office has brought criminal contempt proceedings against Scott Romero, who is accused of scamming Western New York residents for snow removal services.

Romero, the target of a 2011 lawsuit by Schneiderman for defrauding customers in the Buffalo area, is accused of violating a court order and scamming additional consumers, this time in the greater Rochester area. The contempt of court charges were filed in in Erie County Supreme Court and will be heard by Justice Catherine Nugent Panepinto.

“Many Western New Yorkers depend on snow removal contractors to allow them to drive to work and to keep their families safe,” Schneiderman said. “Those who defraud consumers, especially repeat offenders, will be met with aggressive legal action to hold them accountable.”

Romero was accused in 2011 of accepting advance payments for snow removal services and then not providing them. A court order required Romero to pay $50,000 in restitution to victims and put up a $150,000 bond before he could accept any advance payments from consumers. Schneiderman’s office is alleging Romero failed to put up the bond and scammed at least 33 additional customers via the very same scheme of accepting advance payment and then failing to provide snow removal services.

Schneiderman’s office is seeking 30 days in jail for Romero for each of the 33 additional customers he is accused of defrauding since the previous judgment. Romero faces a total of more than two and a half years in jail, if convicted of criminal charges, and payment of additional restitution.