The Justice Wire
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The Justice Wire

RELEASE: After Grand Jury Investigation, Philadelphia District Attorney Larry Krasner Issues Charges Against Hooked, Inc. and its Owners for Illegal Towing Practices

PHILADELPHIA DISTRICT ATTORNEY’S OFFICE

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

CONTACT:
Ben Waxman, 215–686–8711

benjamin.waxman@phila.gov

PHILADELPHIA (March 10, 2019) — Today, Philadelphia District Attorney Larry Krasner announced charges against Hooked Inc. of 2210 W. Westmoreland St. and its co-owners Dwight Williams (DOB 4–11–89) and Joseph Moreno (DOB 8–29–71). They are charged with Corrupt Organization (F-1), Deceptive or Fraudulent Business Practices (F-3), four counts of Insurance Fraud (F-3), four counts of Theft by Deception (F-3), and two counts of Conspiracy (F-1, F-3) for illegal towing practices.

“Hooked Inc., Dwight Williams, and Joseph Moreno took advantage of dozens of vulnerable drivers who, in moments of confusion, were forced to open their wallets so they could line the defendant’s pockets,” said Larry Krasner, Philadelphia District Attorney. “I hope today’s announcement sends a clear message to area towing operations to follow the law, because these scams have no place in our city. I’d also like to thank the Investigating Grand Jury for their service, National Insurance Crime Bureau the Assistant District Attorneys and the specially assigned County Detectives from our office’s Insurance Fraud Unit for their hard work, and I greatly appreciate the Philadelphia Police Department’s partnership during this investigation.”

In conjunction with the Philadelphia Police Department’s Major Crimes Unit, the Philadelphia District Attorney’s Office (DAO) began investigating high tow bill complaint calls, ranging from $500 to $2,000, that were reported to the office by the insurance companies doing business with Hooked Inc. and other towing companies in the city. Most towing companies in Philadelphia have agreed to a rotational towing program, so each company has an equal opportunity to tow available cars. The program is also designed to prevent wreck chasing and price gouging. Once at an accident scene, responding officers typically notify the next tow truck on the list via police radio. Then, once at the scene, the towers are required to fill out a tow slip in its entirety, have the customer sign the slip, and clearly list their charges. Solicitation by any towing company is prohibited.

Four examples that detail Hooked Inc.’s, Williams’, and Moreno’s scheme to deceive multiple victims, circumvent the city’s rotational towing program, and commit insurance fraud include information about what happened to:

Dwight Williams and Joseph Moreno voluntarily turned themselves in and were arrested on 3–19–19. Their next status hearing will be 4–29–19.

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The Philadelphia District Attorney’s Office is the largest prosecutor’s office in Pennsylvania, and one of the largest in the nation. It serves the more than 1.5 million citizens of the City and County of Philadelphia, employing 600 lawyers, detectives and support staff. The District Attorney’s Office is responsible for prosecution of over 40,000 criminal cases annually.

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