Attorney General James Sues Predatory Towing Company for Cheating and Harassing New Yorkers

Bobby’s Towing Unlawfully Towed Vehicles While Owners Were Present,
Overcharged for Towing Fees, and Falsified Tow Tickets

AG James Encourages New Yorkers Harmed by
Bobby’s Towing to File Complaint With Her Office

NEW YORK – New York Attorney General Letitia James today filed a lawsuit against a predatory towing company, known as Bobby’s Towing, and its owner and operator, Robert Scores, for repeatedly cheating and harassing hundreds of New Yorkers in Poughkeepsie. The lawsuit alleges that for years Mr. Scores engaged in rude behavior, illegally towed cars, overcharged for towing fees, falsified tow tickets, and made racist and derogatory comments to vehicle owners. He actively patrolled streets looking for cars to tow even if private property owners did not call for a car to be towed. Bobby’s Towing persistently violated New York’s business laws and the City of Poughkeepsie’s Towing Ordinance. Attorney General James is taking action to correct this unlawful behavior and protect New Yorkers. Through her lawsuit, Attorney General James is seeking restitution and reimbursements for those who were cheated.

“We are slamming the brakes on this unlawful and predatory behavior that hurt too many vulnerable New Yorkers,” said Attorney General James. “For too long, Bobby’s Towing bullied New Yorkers who depended on their cars to go to work, take their children to school, get groceries, and run errands. No one should have to pay hundreds of dollars to get their car back when they didn’t do anything wrong. Today, we are taking action to stop Bobby’s Towing from harassing any more New Yorkers in Poughkeepsie’s streets. There is no place for predatory businesses like this in New York.”

The Office of the Attorney General (OAG) opened an investigation into Bobby’s Towing after receiving multiple complaints about the company and Mr. Scores for aggressive and even racist behavior. The OAG’s investigation found that Mr. Scores persistently engaged in deceptive and predatory business practices, including: 

  • Towing vehicles even when owners were on the scene and willing to move their cars;
  • Towing cars that were temporarily idling; and,
  • Falsifying tow tickets with untrue justifications for the tow and the cost.

In addition, Mr. Scores repeatedly told consumers to report tows to their insurance as roadside assistance for insurance reimbursement, which is illegal. Mr. Scores also often failed to properly hook up cars onto his towing truck, causing significant and expensive damages to vehicles. 

Mr. Scores repeatedly violated the City of Poughkeepsie’s Towing Ordinance by charging more than $85 for towing fees, failing to wait the required 20-minute grace period before towing, overcharging for storage fees, and charging administrative and other service fees that are prohibited. In multiple affidavits obtained by OAG, car owners shared that Mr. Scores towed their car in less than 10 minutes after they left it.

Through her lawsuit — filed in Dutchess County State Supreme Court — Attorney General James is seeking: 

  • Conditional injunctive relief preventing Mr. Scores from operating a tow truck business unless he obtains a $100,000 bond;
  • Reimbursement for vehicle owners/operators for illegal or unjustified tows, with reimbursements to include any and all damages, such as lost wages, in the circumstance of an illegal tow;
  • Restitution for all known and unknown consumers;
  • An end to all deceptive and predatory business practices;
  • Disgorgement of illegal profits obtained; and,
  • Penalties.

Attorney General James encourages New Yorkers harmed by Bobby’s Towing to file an online complaint with her Poughkeepsie Regional Office or call 845-485-3900.

“As a former Assistant Attorney General in charge of the Poughkeepsie Consumer Fraud Office, I applaud Attorney General Letitia James for her actions against an unscrupulous towing company which harassed and cheated City of Poughkeepsie residents,” said Assemblymember Jonathan Jacobson. “The attorney general's actions will result in restitution to innocent consumers who should not have to waste days in court and lose wages to recoup their losses.”

This matter is being handled by Assistant Attorney General Cheryl Lee of the Poughkeepsie Regional Office, with support from Consumer Frauds Representative David Lederman, Civil Investigator Adrienne DeGaetano, and Civil Investigator Stephanie Brideau of the Poughkeepsie Regional Office. The Poughkeepsie Regional Office is led by Assistant Attorney General in Charge Vinita Kamath and is a part of the Division of Regional Affairs, which is led by Deputy Attorney General Jill Faber. The Division of Regional Affairs is overseen by First Deputy Attorney General Jennifer Levy.