CHICAGO, Oct. 19, 2015 /PRNewswire/ -- Fourteen Chicagoland vehicle towing companies and individuals are named as defendants in a lawsuit recently filed by U-Haul Company of Illinois, Inc. in the Circuit Court of Cook County, Illinois. The lawsuit alleges that the defendants fraudulently towed U-Haul trucks and trailers in order to charge U-Haul exorbitant and baseless fees for the return of the equipment.
"U-Haul filed the lawsuit after an extensive investigation following an increasing number of U-Haul rental equipment had been towed in the region under suspicious circumstances," said U-Haul Area District Vice President Steve Hansen. "This lawsuit follows a string of recent news stories on other Chicagoland tow truck companies allegedly engaging in unlawful behavior."
According to the lawsuit, various defendants allegedly offered payments to U-Haul customers in exchange for their participation in the tow fraud aimed at billing U-Haul for thousands of dollars in unnecessary towing and vehicle storing fees. The complaint alleges that the defendants falsely represented to U-Haul that its equipment required their towing due to vehicle accidents and mechanical breakdowns that never actually occurred.
Investigators have obtained confessions from various individuals involved in the fraud.
"U-Haul always pursues recourse against individuals who involve U-Haul equipment in nefarious activities," Hansen said. "We do this on behalf of the millions of honest U-Haul customers we serve each year to keep their costs low and to make their communities a safer place to live."
In addition to legal recourse, U-Haul retains a robust investigations unit that works closely with law enforcement and U-Haul Team Members across North America. This unit has uncovered various types of fraud and illegal activity throughout the U.S. and Canada.
Persons who have knowledge of, or have been victimized by, the fraud alleged in this particular complaint are encouraged to report this information to the Consumer Protection Division of the Illinois Attorney General's office at 1-800-386-5438 and www.illinoisattorneygeneral.gov/consumers, and to contact the attorneys for U-Haul in this lawsuit, LaRose & Bosco, Ltd. at (312) 642-6614.
The lawsuit names as defendants the following Chicagoland vehicle towing companies and individuals: Traffic Recovery Inc., Muhanad Ali, Ambition Towing Inc., A.T.I. Recovery, Haifa Ali, Rafat Ali, Evans Towing and Recovery Inc., Lutredze Evans, Automotive Transport Specialist Inc., Ibrahim Ziaha, South Side Towing Inc., Jennifer Abdelrahman, Affordable Towing and Recovery LLC, and Tremaine L. Hemingway.
Since 1945, U-Haul has been the No. 1 choice of do-it-yourself movers, with a network of more than 20,000 locations across all 50 states and 10 Canadian provinces. U-Haul customers' patronage has enabled the U-Haul fleet to grow to more than 135,000 trucks, 107,000 trailers and 38,000 towing devices. U-Haul offers more than 491,000 rooms and more than 44 million square feet of self-storage space at owned and managed facilities throughout North America. U-Haul is the largest installer of permanent trailer hitches in the automotive aftermarket industry and is one of the nation's largest propane retailers. www.uhaul.com