LISBON — State and Brunswick police have charged a Chelsea man with bilking dozens of people out of thousands of dollars for items and services they ordered through Craigslist but were never delivered.

Ervin Morrison III, 23, was arrested at a home on Memorial Street in Lisbon on Wednesday without incident.

According to a news release from Stephen McCausland, spokesman for the Maine Department of Public Safety, police had been looking for Morrison since last summer, after receiving several complaints of undelivered services or products solicited on Craigslist.

Maine State Police Trooper Christopher Rogers said two Maine companies lost $132,000 in the swindle. Police expect the total losses in Maine will amount to  $250,000.

That number is expected to double as additional complaints come in from out of state, according to McCausland.

A Florida man reported he lost $140,000 to Morrison in an investment scheme, and a woman in North Carolina said she paid Morrison $25,000 last week in the same scheme. The North Carolina woman later changed her mind and stopped payment before the check was cashed, McCausland said.

Morrison is being held on charges that include theft by deception, theft by unauthorized taking and motor vehicle violations that include operating a motor vehicle after his license had been revoked.

He appeared in court in Augusta on Wednesday.

Several other courts will be involved in the additional charges he faces, according to McCausland.

The arrest warrants issued for Morrison are from several police agencies in Maine and Massachusetts. Morrison was believed to have fled the state last year, but recent information from the Oxford Police Department indicated Morrison was back in Maine.

Morrison was arrested Wednesday by a team of troopers and officers and detectives from Lisbon and Brunswick.

He is being held at the Kennebec County Jail on $1,000 cash bail, but the bail is expected to be increased as he appears in several other courts in Maine.

Investigators say the majority of Morrison’s schemes on Craigslist involved sales of firewood, wood pellets, logging, home repair, earthwork, vehicle transportation, real estate and investments. There is no indication he delivered on any of them.

Investigators say anyone who thinks they may have been a victim of Morrison should contact Maine State Police Troop D in Augusta at 207-624-8947.


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