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Attorney General's News Release

July 8, 2011

Attorney General Koster obtains restraining order against towing company for defrauding Joplin residents

Jefferson City, Mo. – Attorney General Chris Koster said today his office has obtained a temporary restraining order against a Parkville towing company for violations of Missouri’s Merchandising Practices Act in the aftermath of the May 22 Joplin tornado.

Koster said Northland Tow Service, LLC, was towing motor vehicles that had been damaged by the tornado, falsely representing to some consumers that it worked with an insurance company and simply towing other vehicles without the owners’ knowledge or permission. Fifty-four vehicles were towed from the area affected by the tornado to a location in Baxter Springs, Kansas.

“Unfortunately, there are always those who will take advantage of unsuspecting consumers during times of tragedy,” Koster said, “I want to continue to assure consumers that this office will be aggressive in going after those who engage in this illegal behavior.”

Koster said the court order prohibits the company from conducting business in Joplin, Jasper County, or Newton County, without having previously been solicited to do so, from transferring any motor vehicles it towed from the area affected by the tornado without prior approval of the court, and from disposing of any documents related to the towing.

This is the second time the Attorney General’s Office has obtained a temporary restraining order against a towing company related to the Joplin tornado. In June, the Attorney General filed a lawsuit against Independence Tow & Recovery, Inc. In addition to obtaining the temporary restraining orders, the Attorney General is seeking restitution for consumers and civil penalties in both cases.

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