Pittsburgh Towing Company Owner Charged with Insurance Fraud

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HARRISBURG, PA — The Attorney General of Pennsylvania, Michelle Henry, in collaboration with the Allegheny County Police Department, has announced the filing of charges against Vincent G. Fannick, 56, the owner of a Pittsburgh-based towing company. Fannick faces allegations of inflating tow costs through deceptive practices, including the imposition of “accident services” fees.

On Thursday, Fannick was charged with a series of felonies and misdemeanors that encompass 27 counts each of insurance fraud, theft by deception, theft by unlawful taking, and securing execution of documents by deception. Following his arraignment, bail was set at $25,000, with a preliminary hearing scheduled for May 3.

The charges stem from an investigation that revealed Fannick’s practice of initially omitting price details on towing service invoices, followed by the levying of hefty “accident services” fees on consumers’ insurance companies. This scheme reportedly affected 27 victims, leading to overcharges amounting to more than $100,000 in “accident services” fees alone, contributing to a total near $300,000 in inflated charges.

Attorney General Henry emphasized the predatory nature of the alleged actions, stating, “This defendant allegedly preyed on consumers already in stressful situations, first by hiding costs when asking for invoice signatures, then by inflating prices for short tow jobs.” She affirmed that such deceptive business practices are unacceptable in Pennsylvania and vowed accountability for those exploiting consumers.

The case came to light in 2023 after a consumer reported being charged $11,390 by Vince’s Towing for an unrequested short-trip tow, with $4,250 of that amount attributed to an “accident services” fee. Further investigation identified 26 additional consumers who, from February 2023 to February 2024, were allegedly subjected to similar overcharging practices, with insurance companies billed between $9,460 and $13,105 for single, short-trip tows. In one instance, Fannick is accused of charging $9,805 to tow a vehicle merely one-third of a mile.

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Superintendent Christopher Kearns of the Allegheny County Police Department expressed gratitude for the partnership with the Office of the Attorney General in addressing what he described as targeted actions against vulnerable community members.

The case against Fannick will be prosecuted by Insurance Fraud Deputy Attorney General Grant Miller. It is important to remember that all charges at this stage are merely accusations, and the defendant is presumed innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.

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