Dryden, N.Y. — The man arrived at the business, or the house, purporting to represent “SR & LM Specialists” or “Cortland Lawn & Landscaping,” or “Z’s Snow Removal Services.”

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Whatever the fake name was, the man would sell his clients a snow removal contract. He took the payment up front.

Then when the snow came, according to law enforcement, and the man never showed up to remove it. Thomas J. Zackoski, 27, of Liverpool, was arrested Monday night and charged with scheme to defraud in the second degree, a misdemeanor. The sheriff’s office released the above account in a statement today.


Deputies have learned that Zackoski completed similar snow removal contracts in Syracuse, Rochester, Cortland and Utica without providing any services, a press release from the sheriff’s office said.

Zackoski was arrested around 7:30 p.m. after an investigation by the Tompkins County Sheriff’s Office and the Village of Dryden Police Department.

Zackoski was arraigned in front of Judge Clauson in Dryden Town Court and sent to jail. Bail was set at $5,000 cash or $10,000 bond. Additional charges are pending.

Among the fake snow plow company names Zackoski may have used, according to the sheriff, are: “SR & LM Specialists, Cortland Lawn & Landscaping, Z’s Snow Removal Services, and Ryder Plowscapes.”

“Tompkins County Residents are urged to contact the Tompkins County Sheriff’s Office or the 911 Communications Center to file a report if they signed a contract with any of the aforementioned businesses,” the sheriff’s office said.

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Jeff Stein is the founder and former editor of the Ithaca Voice.