A Chelsea man is facing multiple charges that he swindled customers out of hundreds of thousands of dollars for items and services he never provided.

Ervin Morrison III, 23, was arrested Wednesday in Lisbon on charges of theft by deception and theft by unauthorized taking, Maine Department of Public Safety spokesman Stephen McCausland said in a news release. Morrison also is charged with multiple driving violations, including operating a motor vehicle after revocation.

McCausland said Morrison’s schemes involved sales of firewood and wood pellets as well as services, including logging, home repair, earthwork, vehicle transportation, real estate and investments.

“There is no indication he delivered on any of them,” McCausland said.

McCausland said Morrison is being held at the Kennebec County jail in Augusta in lieu of $1,000 cash bail. He’s expected to make a court appearance Friday at the Capital Judicial Center in Augusta.

McCausland said police have been searching for Morrison since last summer after receiving several complaints of services or products being offered on Craigslist that were never delivered.

Maine State Police Trooper Christopher Rogers said a pair of Maine companies lost $132,000. Rogers expects the losses in Maine to total $250,000.

“That number is expected to double as additional complaints come in from out of state,” he said in the news release.

Morrison allegedly bilked a Florida couple out of $140,000 in an investment scheme. A North Carolina woman said she paid Morrison $25,000 last week in the same scheme, McCausland said. The woman changed her mind and stopped payment before the check was cashed.

McCausland said several agencies in Maine and Massachusetts were seeking Morrison on warrants. Police believed he had fled the state last year, but Oxford police recently learned that Morrison was back in Maine, McCausland said.

A team of troopers and officers and detectives from the Lisbon and Brunswick police departments arrested Morrison on Wednesday at a home on Memorial Street in Lisbon.

A Kennebec County grand jury in July indicted Morrison on forgery and theft by deception charges after he allegedly tried to pass a number of forged checks from an account held by his father, Ervin Morrison Jr., at Goggins IGA in Randolph.

Ervin Morrison Jr. was charged in February 2015 with embezzling nearly $17,000 from a Waterville sports center over a six-week period. The elder Morrison took $16,852 from All Pro Sports Center, according to a warrant affidavit filed by Waterville police Detective Joshua Woods. The charges were dropped after restitution was paid.

McCausland asked anyone who thinks he or she might have been victimized by Ervin Morrison III to contact Maine State Police Troop D in Augusta at 624-8947.


Comments are not available on this story.