Attorney General Josh Shapiro announced that he is seeking restitution for more than 200 consumers and sanctions against a Philadelphia towing company for violating the terms of a previous agreement it had with his Office of Attorney General. The settlement agreement, in the form of an Assurance of Voluntary Compliance, or AVC, resulted from an investigation that found George Smith Towing had illegally towed cars from various locations throughout Philadelphia, and for violating the city’s towing ordinance.
As a result of the initial investigation, the Office and George Smith Towing, of South 61st Street, Philadelphia, settled the matter through the AVC. However, the Office of Attorney General received more than 200 complaints from consumers alleging similar conduct after the originally announced agreement, but the company has refused to pay additional restitution, and it has engaged in additional conduct that violates the injunctive terms contained in the AVC.
“When businesses and individuals make commitments and enter into agreements with my Office, I expect them to deliver on their promises and hit the brakes on their bad behavior,” Attorney General Shapiro said. “This settlement was to ensure consumers received restitution for the company’s violations and to stop these bad towing practices. George Smith Towing has abandoned its responsibilities in our settlement and, today, we are taking further action to make sure they don’t evade their responsibilities to those they ripped off.”
The company was originally alleged to have violated Pennsylvania’s Unfair Trade Practices and Consumer Protection Law, the Towing and Towing Storage Facility Standards Act, and Philadelphia’s towing ordinance.
The motion for sanctions filed by the Office alleges George Smith Towing and its owner, Anthony D’Angelo, violated the AVC by failing to accept credit cards, towing vehicles when respondents’ signs were not clearly displayed or were missing, charging vehicle owners more than the lawful amount, damaging consumers’ vehicles when towing them, and failing to pay additional restitution.
Shapiro said the Office of Attorney General is asking the court to enter an order revoking the company’s towing license, shutting down the business, directing the respondents to pay restitution to harmed consumers, and directing the respondents to pay a civil penalty for violating the AVC.