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State nails Depew snowplow contractor for gouging

Another Buffalo-area contractor has been cited by Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman for price gouging during the November snowstorm – charging up to $500 to plow South Towns driveways.

Smaz Enterprise, a Depew landscaping and snow-removal business, charged snowed-in residents $350 to $500 for the service, said Schneiderman, who labeled the price “unconscionably excessive” and $300 as reasonable.

Under an agreement, Smaz will comply with the state’s price-gouging law, offer restitution for charges above $300 for residential driveway snow removal, and provide names of those who paid more than $300 between Nov. 17 and 25.

Other victims may still submit a complaint to his office within 30 days of the agreement and will be eligible if verified, Schneiderman said.

Smaz will also pay a $150 civil penalty for each customer receiving restitution.

“The vast majority of people in Greater Buffalo responded to the November snowstorm in precisely the way we have come to expect from Western New Yorkers: with neighbors helping neighbors and people looking out for each other,” Schneiderman said.

“Unfortunately, there were also those who allegedly took advantage of an emergency to make a profit.”