Sunday, September 19, 2010

Largest Towing Scam in the History of Texas Towing Law

One of the largest towing scams in the history of private property impounds, has occurred in Austin, Texas, by Assured Towing Inc, the very towing company, whom has caused havoc, since their inception in 2001. (JC-0554)

Based on data obtained thru the Texas Department of Licensing & Regulation (TDLR) Assured's unlicensed vehicle storage facility located at 4416 Brandt Rd,  reported at least 228 private property impounds to law enforcement, during the time period, Aug 16 - Aug 29, 2010, all stored at unlicensed vehicle storage facility.

The TDLR Regulation says:

85.203. License Requirements--Vehicle Storage Facility License Renewal. (New section adopted effective April 15, 2008, 33 TexReg 2931) (a) To renew VSF license, an applicant must:
(1) submit a completed application on a department-approved form;
(2) pay the applicable fee required under §85.800; and
(3) successfully pass a criminal background check.
(b) To renew and maintain continuous license, the renewal requirements under this section must be completed prior to the expiration of the license. A late renewal means the licensee will have an unlicensed period from the expiration date of the expired license to the issuance date of the renewed license. During the unlicensed period, a person may not perform any functions of a VSF that requires a license under this chapter.
(c) Non-receipt of a license renewal notice from the department does not exempt a person from any requirements of this chapter.

This wide ranging fraud encompasses many victims, lien holders, and insurance companies who have no idea they taken advantage of, by none other than Les Juliano and Mark Hull, who profited because of this criminal conduct.

It must be remembered, that Mark Hull is General Counsel for Southwest Tow Operators, Austin Towing Association and a Director with the Assured Towing Inc, my opinion, Mark Hull should lose his law license for his reckless conduct during the participation of his company operating 13 days without a valid license, a crime.

Our friends at TDLR, Texas Department of Licensing & Regulations, has me worried.

Lead Investigator Don Vara, told me his folks (investigators) gathered the information requested from law enforcement and September 8th Auction vehicle records. Several vehicles sold at that auction by Gaston & Sheehan, lacked the required 72 days of storage, but were auctioned any way.

It is not unusual for multiple complaints to be combined into one Notice of Alleged Violation or into one hearing.  It is also not unusual for the complained of action to not be a violation and yet the Department goes forward on other violations found during the investigation.

TDLR has never had a complaint with this many victims, 200+, and surpasses the towing scams in the DFW area during Cotton Bowl game events.

Assured Towing Inc's towing license should be revoked for shear number of violations committed during this unlicensed activity, anything else would be a travesty and an example when testifying during upcoming legislative hearings against the views of Jess Horton, Southwest Tow Operators, regarding what's best for law abiding companies and consumers!