Alleged Tow Truck Scammers Sued For “Extorting” Truckers
Chicago, Illinois – A Florida trucking company filed a lawsuit in Cook County, Illinois, on Thursday, May 9, alleging it had been the victim of a towing scheme.
Truckers and trucking companies are often targets of predatory towing scammers who essentially extort big bucks in exchange for the release of the towed semi-truck.
Well, that’s exactly what Margate, Florida-based, Critical Logistics Inc., asserts happened to one of its drivers.
The suit alleges that on March 18, 2019, a truck driver working for Critical Logistics struck an overpass near the 3300 block of South Archer Avenue, in the neighborhood of McKinley Park, and required a tow.
The complaint contends a man who went by the name of “Mike” quickly showed up on the scene representing himself as a tow-truck operator hired by Critical Logistics.
“Mike,” who is actually a man named John Twist, 30, operates a Chicago towing business, TMT Inc.
Twist allegedly assured the truck driver the damaged 2011 Freightliner would be safely towed to a nearby lot and stored overnight for $450.
Twist also said the truck would be released the next day, according to the complaint.
However, the suit contends when the next day came, Twist demanded $15,000 and a $10,000 deposit in order to release the semi.
Further, the complaint contends Twist told the truck driver he would contact Chicago police and file a crash report on the trucker’s behalf.
However, the owner of Critical Logistics asserts Twist never did so.
After much rancor between the two sides, Critical Logistics sent a letter to Twist on March 28 demanding the release of the truck.
However, representatives of Critical Logistics say they never received a response and allege Twist perpetrated a fraud and carried out deceptive business practices.
The trucking company is asking a judge to order the release of the 2011 Freightliner, award unspecified damages and court costs.
Twist is not only facing this suit, but he, along with Angel Camacho, 26, were arrested by Chicago Police in April for conducting a similar scheme.
Authorities say the two men were posing as city tow truck drivers and using a police scanner to find crash victims with disabled vehicles and lure them into a “predatory towing operation.’’
Chicago Police spokesman Anthony Guglielmo said the two men would “appear unsolicited at scenes and essentially take cars hostage and later extort owners.”
Authorities said Camacho and Twist would tell people they worked for the city of Chicago and even went so far as to wear clothing bearing the city seal, all in an effort to appear more convincing.
Both men were charged with felony tow solicitation, and Twist was also charged with misdemeanor possession of a police scanner, according to authorities.
Police said they both have prior felony convictions: Camacho for robbery and possession of a stolen motor vehicle, and Twist for kidnapping.
Transportation Nation Network will continue to follow this case, so stay logged on to TransportationNation.com for the latest.
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