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There Is Justice..scam Artist Busted!!! Buffalo Ny

Discussion in 'Commercial Snow Removal' started by PetalsandPines, Jan 9, 2003.

  1. PetalsandPines

    PetalsandPines Senior Member
    Messages: 260

    Remember the post a while back about the scumbag who stole the money from the senior citizens in Buffalo? Here it is now on the News! Plowless snowplower scams seniors
    Will he show? And will he blow? That was the question facing Southtowns residents who contracted for snow removal and never received the service.

    And now they're wondering: is that legal? The answer is no.

    It appears the latest snow plowing scam was aimed at seniors. And as one elderly victim put it, the M.O. was simple: take the money. And run.

    Check out John Hoefner's new "toy"— at least that's what his wife calls it. A snazzy red snow blower that he purchased the other day after his snowplow contractor flew the coop.

    This 84-year-old homeowner admits he's wanted one of these babies for decades. What irks him, and his wife Anne, and neighbor Bill Telaak is the fact he had to buy it quick or face being snowed in for the rest of the winter.

    "I go to dialysis three days a week...so I really got to get cleaned out," John said.

    He says he was forced to think fast, after the owner of Bob's General Snowplowing called to say his truck was busted and he couldn't plow.

    John had paid owner Robert Fleck, upfront, $200 back in October.

    "My wife is being operated on right this minute…she's not in too good of shape," said Bill Telaak.

    Bill, who lives across the street from John, also paid Robert Fleck…upfront in cash. He says the army of home health care workers who tend to his ailing wife around the clock need access to a plowed driveway.

    He says when Robert Fleck called to bow out, he promised a refund, but never sent it.

    "Before that he called me three times and told me he was going to put stakes in. We never saw the stakes…so then we smelled the rat," Bill said.

    Bob's General Snowplowing operated for the last six months out of a Center Road office front in West Seneca.

    The landlord tells Action 7 she kicked out the owner last month for not paying the rent.

    "He had just a desk in it, and there was nothing else," John said.

    "I don't think he had a snow plow," Bill said.

    "Is this is the rap sheet?" Action 7 asked West Seneca police detective Dan Connors.
    "Yes."
    "How many arrests?"
    "Twenty-nine."

    West Seneca police detective Dan Connors says Robert Fleck's numerous arrests — many involving check fraud — have landed him in jail from time to time. The detective says more than a dozen elderly homeowners have called in recent weeks to complain about Bob's Snowplowing, many of whom were told the company employed five workers and operated two plows.

    "Did he in fact have five employees and two snowplows?" Action 7 asked the detective.
    "Not that we can see so far," Detective Connors replied.
    "Did he have any snowplows?"
    "No. There's no…no snow plow or a vehicle registered to his name in New York state," Detective Connors said.
    "What about a driver's license?"
    "There was no drivers license in his name in New York state," Detective Connors said.

    Detective Connors says a criminal investigation is underway. He believes Bob's General Snowplowing is out of business, however it appears owner Robert Fleck may be branching out: his latest ad indicates the company has morphed into tv, appliance, and furnace repair. Stay tuned.

    Earlier this week Robert Fleck told Action 7 he was out of business blaming a broken plow truck and the loss of a major account. Bob promised us twice that his clients would be reimbursed. They are still waiting and still shoveling.

    And as of today, all the company phone numbers have been disconnected.


    Oh how sweet it is!
     
  2. Grshppr

    Grshppr Senior Member
    Messages: 268

    Great to hear that this guy got his #$@ nail to the wall. Hope fully people will realize they need to check up on the company that is going to do their work (business licence, insurance, references etc..) and not just go for the "best" deal.:drinkup:
     
  3. ceaman

    ceaman Senior Member
    Messages: 372

    hahahahhahahahhahahhahahahah:D
     
  4. OffRoadPlow

    OffRoadPlow Senior Member
    Messages: 247

    Good Post, and I hope he gets charged for each of the people he scamed. What a joke, and you every wonder why the elderly don't trust us? If you don't know what I mean, I think for the right amount of money you can hire "Bob's Snowplowing" for the answer. he he, oh and sorry if anyone runs under that name.
     
  5. digger242j

    digger242j Senior Member
    Messages: 672

    Don't miss this point:

    It's still being presented in a way that makes *snowplowing contractors* look bad. The guy was *never* one of us--he was just a theif. That *one* line makes it look as though he's just the only one of those slippery damn snowplowers that the cops have been able to nail... :mad:
     
  6. Pelican

    Pelican 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,075

    I didn't read anywhere in the report that he has been aprehended. Is he truly behind bars or still at large? In any case, the authorities are on to him and he's sure to be caught, this is a good thing.
     
  7. Ground Master

    Ground Master Junior Member
    Messages: 22

    Good news, maybe someone can step in and help some of these people........maybe you would get on the news yourself........you can't beat that advertising.


    On another note, why is it that so many people pay up front for an entire season of snowplowing? I know many contractors want this, but I for one bill out the service in 3 or more monthly installments.

    How many of you would pay upfront for a service like this? I'll be honest, I never would. The most I'd pay is a deposit to get on a guys list, and then a little more of the balance for the next few months.
     
  8. fordman

    fordman Senior Member
    Messages: 327

    It's people like this that give plowers such a bad reputation.:realmad:
    If and when they catch him they should just turn him loose in a room full of professional plow operators:gunsfiring:
    That and paying back all the money stole would be a sufficient punishment IMO.:D
     
  9. Mick

    Mick PlowSite.com Veteran
    from Maine
    Messages: 5,546

    Paying 100% up front

    I guess it all depends on circumstances. I don't think I would. But, I have a customer who has a camp on my route. They pay me one payment at the beginning of the season to keep their driveway open in case they decide to come up from out of state. I've only seen them once. That was last year when they flagged me down on the highway and asked me if I'd take care of it for them. I said sure. Called them at thier home with price for the season. They mailed a check. Called me again this year. Left a check for this winter in my mailbox on thier way home.

    How can you beat that?:)
     
  10. BWhite

    BWhite Senior Member
    Messages: 496

    Was the scam artist driving all red and shiny equipment and his wife was caught beating her kid at walmart parking lot???
     
  11. lawnkid

    lawnkid Senior Member
    Messages: 234

    There was a guy on the news around here that did the same thing a couple days ago. some wonder if he even had a plow? That's anothere thing that makes us look bad. :(
     
  12. mike9497

    mike9497 Senior Member
    Messages: 466

    to bad he didn't do that in connecticut because Richard B would of nailed his A** to some train tracks and refund everyone there money
     
  13. copandplower

    copandplower Member
    Messages: 44

    Guys, obviously Bob is a scum bag but I wouldnt get to excited just yet. He has 29 arrests so far in that jurisdiction and he is still out there scamming people. Knowing our joke of a legal system here in New York I wouldnt be surprised if keeps scamming people for years to come with no real punishment. Its too bad his latest scam may have also damaged the integrity of our trade.

    Rick
     
  14. Earthscapes

    Earthscapes Senior Member
    from WNY
    Messages: 577

    Groundmaster--- Out of our 77 customers,,,62 paid in full for the season before Oct. 15th and only 47 in total are return customers...... because i raised the prices so much this yr.

    People just seem to like paying in full and they don't have to worry about another bill.......

    The others pay 1/2 before oct. 15th and the rest is due Jan. 15th
    cool only 5 days from now:)
     
  15. shamrock1

    shamrock1 Member
    Messages: 30

    I guess "BOB" should have known who else was in the plowing business in Buffalo Metro- and surrounding areas...

    I want to thank P&P for getting this over to me, Our ECSO warrant detectives did some digging and turned this over to Chief Ed Gehen @ WSPD who made this a priority...

    It 's West Seneca's jurisdiction and they have a fine department and administrative law team. translation; Bob's Screwed!!!

    And of course the always ("fair, never any journalism sensationalism") Mary Travers from Channel 7 probably did not help his cause....

    It appears to me that the only "plowing" BOB will be doing is from the inside of his cell..... :eek:
     
  16. Mick

    Mick PlowSite.com Veteran
    from Maine
    Messages: 5,546

    Way to go, Shamrock1. Score 1 for the good guys. Another example of the power of the Internet at work.
     
  17. Got Grass?

    Got Grass? Senior Member
    Messages: 641

    One for the good guys.

    Looks like the only way to get the bad guys outta here is to do it ourselves. Way to go MR. officer...
    ;)
     
  18. shamrock1

    shamrock1 Member
    Messages: 30

    Update:

    Robert Fleck, aka "Bob's Snow Plowing " in West Seneca, NY is now in custody @ The Erie County Correctional Facility......

    Custody of the Erie County Sheriff's Office--(Personally, I love the irony),

    WSPD took some time to make this an airtight case and not let Mr. 29 Priors take another walk.....:nono:

    No Truck, No Office, Nothing to remotely corroborate that he was a plow contractor, Nothing but a THIEF!!!!:realmad:

    Here's hoping FAT BOY enjoys looking at cinderblock walls all day... It's going to be a while....:nod:
     
  19. Pelican

    Pelican 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,075

    That's what I've been waiting to hear!

    Good job guys!:waving:
     
  20. Got Grass?

    Got Grass? Senior Member
    Messages: 641

    :nod: One for the good guys.

    How long untill he gets out & does something like this again?
    Not including the time he's getting in East Aurora for bad checks.

    I bet his "customers" will be asking the next guy for proof of inshurance & permits...