NC towing company towed, booted trucks delivering essential supplies, AG Stein says

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (WTVD) -- Attorney General Josh Stein filed a lawsuit against a Charlotte-based towing company, accusing the company of violating price-gouging laws during the state of emergency.

According to a news release sent Tuesday, A1 Towing Solutions Inc. and its owner, David Jewel Satterfield, are accused of "improperly and predatorily" booting or towing trucks that were delivering food, water, bleach or needed medical supplies, even though the drivers had the necessary permissions to park their trucks on certain properties.

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In addition, Stein says the company then demanded that the truck drivers pay extremely high fees -- up to $4,400 -- to release their trucks, some of which were double-booted on both the tractor and trailer so the driver would have to pay twice. Satterfield is also accused of charging inflated credit card fees, collecting fake fees for DMV filings and threatening to increase fees unless the drivers paid immediately.

"As North Carolinians were waiting on critical supplies to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic, these defendants were exploiting the situation for their own profit," Stein said in a written statement. "Any would-be price gouger should take note -- my office will hold you accountable for harming people in this time of crisis."

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Stein's release said that "as a result of A1 Towing Solutions and Satterfield's actions, drivers were delayed in delivering critical supplies needed in North Carolina and other states to respond to the pandemic."

Stein said his office has received at least 1,763 written complaints about price gouging since Gov. Roy Cooper declared a state of emergency in North Carolina on March 10.

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