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News from DCA - Press Release

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Kay Sarlin/Abigail Lootens (DCA), (212) 487-4283


DEPARTMENT OF CONSUMER AFFAIRS COMMISSIONER MINTZ LAUNCHES AN INVESTIGATION OF METROPOLITAN NY TOWING, AUTO BODY & SALVAGE ASSOCIATION

Department of Consumer Affairs Commissioner Jonathan Mintz announced today the opening of the Department’s investigation of the Metropolitan NY Towing, Auto Body & Salvage Association (“Metro Tow Association”) in light of evidence that the Association had repeatedly engaged in fraudulent or illegal activity. The scope of the investigation includes whether Metro Tow Association has counseled its members to provide false information to the Department, facilitated false submissions, and engaged in other fraudulent or illegal activities.

The Department notified the Association, as well as all licensed tow truck companies and tow truck drivers that, effective immediately and until the investigation is completed, the Department would not accept any documents signed or delivered by any of Metro Tow Association’s principals, employees or agents, and that it would notify any Departmental Administrative Law Judge before whom an executive, employee or agent of the Association was representing a tow business or tow driver in a hearing of this investigation.

The Department provided information to its licensees regarding their rights to file licensing and other relevant documents on their own, including in person at the Licensing Center, online, and through any other agents.

DCA enforces the Consumer Protection Law and other related business laws throughout New York City. Ensuring a fair and vibrant marketplace for consumers and businesses, DCA licenses more than 71,000 businesses in 55 different industries. Through targeted outreach, partnerships with community and trade organizations, and informational materials, DCA educates consumers and businesses alike about their rights and responsibilities. DCA’s Office of Financial Empowerment (OFE) is the first local government initiative in the nation with a mission to educate, empower, and protect New Yorkers with low incomes so they can build assets and make the most of their financial resources. Toward that end, OFE seeks to increase access to high-quality, low-cost financial education and counseling; improve access to income-boosting tax credits; connect households to safe and affordable banking and asset-building products and services; and enforce and improve consumer protections to enhance financial stability. For more information, call 311 or visit DCA online at nyc.gov/consumers.