Reporting Pam Zekman
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CHICAGO (CBS) — A notorious Chicago towing company is out of business, and is being ordered to give money back to some of its customers.
The punishment has taken years — and a long investigation – from CBS 2’s Pam Zekman.
The owners of Road America Towing in Blue Island and other towing companies they operated apparently did not produce records as ordered by a judge in a consumer-fraud complaint.
As a result, a default judgment orders them to pay $2.3 million dollars in penalties for intentionally defrauding accident victims.
“This is like modern-day highway robbery,” Cook County State’s Attorney Anita Alvarez says. “It’s terrible to have these companies that are preying on people at a very vulnerable time.”
Like Edward Nance, who complained to CBS 2 in 2008 about a $2,000 bill full of inflated and fraudulent fees.
Now, the company is ordered to pay back more than $59,000 to some victims.
And the judgment bans the Al Hindi family that operates the companies from the accident towing business for five years.
An attorney for the towing companies says he is appealing the judgment.
He says his clients lost the records requested by the state’s attorney’s office and the county attorneys could have gotten the information from other sources. He also says his clients did not intentionally defraud any accident victims, and says any money they charged was justified.