Decorah-based online business target of scam investigation - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Decorah-based online business target of scam investigation

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The Better Business Bureau has given Snuggle Buggle Crochet Creations an 'F' rating The Better Business Bureau has given Snuggle Buggle Crochet Creations an 'F' rating
DECORAH (KWWL) -

The Winneshiek County Sheriff's Office is investigating a Decorah-based Internet business on allegations of credit card fraud and theft.

Cheryl Albrecht-Zweibohmer and her 17-year-old niece own Snuggle Buggle Crochet Creations, which claims to sell crocheted goods such as baby blankets and hats online.

Winneshiek County sheriff's deputy Gordon Buss said his office has received about a dozen formal complaints from around the country alleging Snuggle Buggle Crochet Creations' owners committed fraud.

In most of the complaints his office has received, Buss said, "a person will make communication with the business owners, select an item, pay for that item and then not receive it."

Marie Tillman is a woman who lives in Omaha, Neb. She claims she ordered a $50 blanket from Snuggle Buggle Crochet Creations and that Albrecht-Zweibohmer told her it would ship by July 24. Tillman not yet received the blanket, and she said the company charged her credit card more than $500 and stopped responding to her messages.

"I was played for a fool and I didn't get the blanket," she told Omaha NBC affiliate WOWT.

The address listed for Snuggle Buggle Crochet Creations is just a P.O. box, so KWWL called the number listed for the business. It rang and went to Albrecht-Zweibohmer's voicemail, at which point KWWL left a message, asking for her side of the story. She did not immediately return the call.

The Better Business Bureau has given the company an 'F' rating. One of the complaints listed on the site details a customer's communication with the business, from promise of shipment to questions when the shipment didn't arrive and, finally, demands for a refund, with no response from Snuggle Buggle Crochet Creations.

Details on the Better Business Bureau's complaints received about Snuggle Buggle Crochet Creations are HERE: http://www.bbb.org/iowa/business-reviews/knit-goods-retail/snuggle-buggle-crochet-creations-in-decorah-ia-32055667

"Our county attorney's office has worked with the state attorney's office so I know that (Snuggle Buggle Crochet Creations has) been looked at," Buss said.

He said people who think they have been a victim of credit card fraud at the hands of Snuggle Buggle Crochet Creations can contact the Winneshiek County Sheriff's Office at 800-632-5976.

Snuggle Buggle Crochet Creations had a Facebook page, but as of Friday it appeared to be nonexistent. Tillman said she has seen the company selling its products on dozens of online garage sale sites.

Iowa Courts Online shows Albrecht-Zweibohmer has pleaded guilty in the past to charges of identity theft and unauthorized use of a credit card.

Earlier this month, Winneshiek County attorney Andy Van Der Maaten said, Albrecht-Zweibohmer entered into a plea agreement that dealt with a number of the complaints of theft against her and her business. Van Der Maaten said Albrecht-Zweibohmer will pay restitution for those. Some new complaints have come to light since that plea agreement, however.

Albrecht-Zweibohmer's attorney Nathan Moonen said his client was unavailable for comment Friday.

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