MOBILE, Ala. (WKRG) — A criminal investigation has been launched into wrecker services in Mobile. This after accusations of price gouging, excess of charging, or charging for services never rendered came to light.
This all was discovered during a re-visit of an ordinance to amend the city code pertaining to wrecker service in Mobile. The ordinance was on the agenda for Mobile City Council Tuesday. However, Public Safety Director James Barber asked the city council, by request of the police, to table the ordinance for now. Barber told council they discovered some companies were acting outside of the current ordinance.
“We had a lot of wrecker companies come down complaining about the ordinance, and so we were revising the ordinance, but out of that came information to us that several companies may have been gouging customers,” Barber said. “And so we began looking at excessive charges, charges for services not rendered and charges that were inappropriate. And so, we began to look at those, and we verified enough of that that there’s enough information that could result in criminal charges for either fraud or the violation of the Alabama Consumer Protection Act.”
There is now a criminal investigation for fraud or violations of the Alabama Consumer Protection Act. There have been accusations of gouging, excess of charging, or charging for services never rendered. Mobile Police are working with Mobile County District Attorney’s office now. Barber says a criminal investigation is now underway to find those who may be responsible for unauthorized charges.
Barber also adds that not all wrecking companies are involved in the investigation, but several are being investigated.
The new ordinance has been tabled for now to complete the criminal investigation. Director Barber says they hope to have a new ordinance after the investigation to help protect citizens.