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Detroit Tower, FBI Wire Taps, Paid Politicians

boulevard and trumbell bustedTowing titan Gasper Fiore was so politically connected that his daughter last year helped write an amendment to the Michigan Department of Transportation budget that ensured his company would win a multimillion-dollar contract, federal documents show.

In the end, the amendment wasn’t necessary. MDOT backed down — and Fiore was told nearly a month in advance that he would get the contract when it was awarded, which he did, according to FBI wiretap evidence.

Along the way, Fiore, who for years dominated the towing industry in southeastern Michigan, appeared to have gotten help from then state Rep. Brian Banks, D-Detroit, and, possibly, state Sen. Tom Casperson, R-Escanaba, who chairs the Senate Transportation Committee, the wiretapped conversations show.

Read more: Detroit Tower, FBI Wire...

Is Ultimate Towing’s Roam Towing Practices A Scam?

Ultimate Towing Lot SignThe Gainesville City Commission is taking a closer look at roam towing practices, infamously used across the city by Ultimate Towing.

At a city commission meeting Thursday, Gainesville Mayor Lauren Poe passed a motion to refer the subject of Ultimate Towing of Gainesville Inc.’s roam towing practices to a general policy meeting, where commissioners will discuss the issue in more depth.

Roam towing, the removal of an illegally parked vehicle from private property at the property owner’s direction, was a topic of heated discussion on the Facebook group “Gainesville Business Word of Mouth” in February, when the owner of the towed car Michael Wohl posted an update describing his experience.

Wohl, who parked at the Sun Center parking lot Feb. 10, said he left his car to have dinner at Boca Fiesta. When he returned, his car was gone.

Read more: Is Ultimate Towing’s Roam...

Tow trucks overcharging while law enforcement looks away

TAMPA, Florida – There’s nothing worse than having your car towed away at the end of the night when you think you’ve done nothing wrong;  except having your car towed away, and facing outrageous charges to get it back.
A 10 Investigates analysis of public towing records and receipts submitted by viewers suggests at least one large local tow truck company has been regularly overcharging drivers whose cars were impounded from Tampa-area parking lots.
Florida State Statute 715.07 limits the fees wrecker companies can charge drivers who have had their cars towed from private property; each county sets its own rates.  But Target Recovery & Transport in Tampa has regularly added improper fees, including a $50 “after-hours gate fee,” to the amount drivers must cough up to get their vehicles back late at night or on weekends.  That often pushes the total bill upwards of $175 for a short tow.
Hillsborough County only allows wrecker companies to charge the extra “after-hours” fee if the driver fails to claim his/her car within three hours. But nearly a dozen viewers complained to 10Investigates about Target Recovery, and the $50 charge was assessed to every single one of them. It appeared all but one retrieved his/her vehicle within three hours.

Read more: Tow trucks overcharging...

Jerrys Towing - Big Wheel Towing - Billing Class

price gouging towing billing classWHITE CLOUD, Mich. (WZZM) -- Some West Michigan towing companies are being accused of adding excessive fees to their bills. It’s an issue the WZZM 13 Watchdog team has been investigating for several months.

Jason Cummins is just one of several frustrated customers who asked for help. He says it all started when someone hit his suburban in Muskegon County.

"I specifically told the dispatcher that I would need a flatbed," Cummins said.

Cummins did not specify a company and says Eagle Towing showed up with a conventional wrecker.

"He tried several times to secure my vehicle with that truck, and couldn't do it, so he called a flatbed in," Cummins said.

Cummins' suburban was taken to Eagle Towing. The next day, he was given a bill for $905.

The invoice included two tow trucks at $295 each. There were also fees; lots of them. They included two fuel surcharges, mileage, inclement weather, medical care reform act, and reclamation and gate fees.

Cummins also had to get it towed to the body shop a few days later.

Read more: Jerrys Towing - Big Wheel...

Boulevard and Trumbull - $10,250 For 4 Miles

DETROIT (WXYZ) - The owner of a local trucking firm is accusing a towing company of taking advantage of a tragedy.Boulevard and Trumbull blocking towing access on freeway

It involves that horrible chain reaction crash on I-75 and Springwells that claimed three lives.

The owner of a truck involved in the crash says she was slapped with a $10,000 towing bill from a company that tows for the Michigan State Police.

The police told her she had to use their authorized towing company, Boulevard and Trumbull. Her truck was impounded and full of freight. The only way to get it out was to pay this bill which she says was outrageous.

"I laughed. I honestly laughed. I thought someone in the office was joking," said Jaime Redmond, referring to when she first heard about the bill.

Then she actually saw the invoice from Boulevard and Trumbull Towing: $10,250. Her laughter turned to outrage.

Read more: Boulevard and Trumbull -...

J.E. Herring - Hall Of Shame

We are a trucking company based in Michigan. In May 2016, while traveling on the PA turnpike I-76, one of our trucks was knocked off of the roadway resulting in the driver’s death and a mangled truck and trailer.

When the recovery and cleanup were completed, we received the following three invoices:

  1. An invoice from the primary tow company, J.E. Herring, for a total of $143,413.05.
  2. An invoice for $18,000 for an additional “Rotator Wrecker” which J.E. Herring apparently did not have
  3. A third invoice for $43,000 from a cleaning company. A very small portion of this load was haz-mat.

Read more: J.E. Herring - Hall Of Shame