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Cleaning service owner indicted after being accused of using Facebook to steal from dozens

Jeff Neiburg
Delaware News Journal

A woman accused of infiltrating closed Facebook groups for Delaware moms and using them to advertise and collect payments for cleaning services that were never provided was indicted Monday by the Delaware Department of Justice’s Fraud & Consumer Protection Division on multiple counts of theft with an aggregate loss of approximately $22,000, the Department of Justice announced.

The woman, Susan Losey, is accused of using her cleaning business, Down & Dirty Cleaning Services, to defraud more than 50 victims. Those victims were primarily in Brandywine Hundred, and Losey collected prepayment for services that were ultimately not provided, the Department of Justice said.

"Complaints indicate that Losey failed to provide the services and declined to refund payments when requested," the Justice Department said in its announcement of the indictment.

Women who paid Losey for services said they received this message and have had no further communication with her. Losey did not provide The News Journal with her own copy of this message.

Delaware Online/The News Journal spoke with many of the victims in a story in September. At that time, women who had been victims were banding together to try to get answers – and, of course, refunds.

BACKGROUND: Moms in Delaware Facebook groups say they are owed thousands

Police reports were filed, and Losey did not return payments in full, victims said.

Losey eventually deleted her Facebook page and sent a note to her "clients," saying she was taking an 8- to 12-week work break for a medical leave of absence and mentioned a trip to a hospital.

A spreadsheet provided to The News Journal and put together by a mother who helped organize the women in the Facebook groups revealed that in order to complete the services she owed, Losey would need to complete 195 outstanding cleanings.

For some, Losey would have them pay via PayPal and designate the payment "Friends and Family," which PayPal's refund policy doesn't cover because Down & Dirty Cleaning Services was not designated as a business.

Asked last fall about the potential for court filings against her, Losey said she was aware of that possibility.

"I had to take this time to worry about me," Losey said then. "If they can't work with me, then fine. That's their issue. That's what they need to do."

Brittany Horn contributed to this story.

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Contact Jeff Neiburg at jneiburg@delawareonline.com. Follow him on Twitter @Jeff_Neiburg.