2007-04-27 / Community

Local Arrested For Scamming Tow Lot Operator

A Far Rockaway man has been arrested by the city's Department of Investigations for allegedly using a forged City marshal's payment receipt to trick a Queens tow-yard clerk into releasing his 2006 Nissan Altima, which the marshal had towed for $456 in unpaid tickets.

According to Rose Gill Hearn, the Commissioner of the New York City Department of Investigation (DOI), Earl L. Hinson, Jr. was arrested late Tuesday afternoon and charged with Criminal Possession of a Forged Instrument in the Second Degree, a class D felony; Falsifying Business Records in the First Degree, a class E felony; and Obstructing Governmental Administration in the Second Degree, a class A misdemeanor and related charges.

Gill Hearn said, "No one enjoys paying parking tickets, but forging official documents to evade paying them isn't an option. Now, the individual in this case is charged with a foolish fraud, has lost his car, still owes his fines and may lose his freedom." According to the criminal complaint, on February 21, 2007, in Queens, City Marshal Jacob D. Sampson, working with his licensed towing contractor, Fleet Recovery, Inc., towed the car registered to Hinson's relative for $456 in unpaid tickets.

Nine days later, on March 2, 2007, at Fleet's yard in South Ozone Park, Hinson presented his driver's license and a phony release form supposedly issued by Marshal Sampson, which falsely stated that Hinson had paid the marshal $1,244 for outstanding tickets and collection fees. In fact, the complaint charges, Hinson paid nothing. Fleet's clerk accepted the forged document and released the car to Hinson. Within five days, the forgery was discovered and reported to DOI. Hinson was then arrested. If convicted, he faces up to seven years in prison. After the fraud was discovered, Hinson's car was re-towed by a City marshal and is in an impound lot.

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