Towing company owner facing up to 10 years in prison

July 24, 2014

By Allison Scarbrough. OCP Editor.

HART — Paul J. Rosse, the owner of Paul’s Towing in Hart, is facing up 10 years in prison after recently pleading guilty to one felony count of common law fraud.

Rosse

Rosse

Rosse is set for sentencing Aug. 26 at 10 a.m. in 27th Circuit Court.

He was arrested last month by the Oceana County Sheriff’s Office for “ghost towing.”

“A ‘ghost tow’ is the term used to describe when a suspect would call in a situation to a company like AAA and request a tow, usually a long distance tow that may cost several hundred dollars,” explained Lt. Craig Mast of the OCSO. “The suspect then does not send any tow at all but collects (money) from AAA.” Rosse had been “ghost towing” over the last few months, Mast said. Rosse bonded out of the Oceana County Jail on a $5,000/10 percent bond. His AAA contract was cancelled, Mast said.

“This situation was brought to the sheriff’s office attention by the fraud detection office at AAA,” the lieutenant said. “After numerous interviews with employees, prior employees, customers and other witnesses, an extensive report has been delivered to the Oceana County Prosecuting Attorney’s office where upon a felony warrant was issued on June 2.” Rosse turned himself in to authorities the next day.

The towing company owner will have to pay over $23,000 in restitution as part of his sentence, said Oceana County Prosecutor Joe Bizon. “We are happy to hold him accountable,” Bizon said. “What he did was completely inappropriate and unethical.”

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