SOUTHFIELD, Mich. (FOX 2) - A Southfield collision shop was raided Tuesday morning as multiple agencies search the location for possible evidence that the company billed customers and insurance companies more than it actually cost.
Undercover vehicles lined Telegraph near 9 Mile in Southfield on Tuesday as investigators from the Attorney General’s Office looked into claims of fraud at Drake's Collision, owned by Art Danou. The business's attorney told FOX 2 that nobody has been charged yet.
"There's been no charges filed or any allegations levied against anyone involving with the shop including the owner," attorney Steve Haney said.
Sources say the search warrant served was likely linked to a towing scheme that involved the collision shop in which cars are towed to their location, while tow bills are re-written for a higher amount, those higher bills are then submitted to customers and their insurance companies.
Danou was sentenced in 2002 to probation on charges of running a criminal enterprise (RICO) while working as a general manager for another collision shop on 8 Mile for submitting fraudulent insurance claims for cars in the shop.
Haney says, from his vantage point, the search warrant is a fact-finding operation by the AG’s office and lists his client’s business and other tow companies on it.
"Sometimes if you're associated with other individuals that are under investigation, this comes with the territory," Haney said.
He said that he believes his client is being targeted by insurance companies for generating too much business.
Drake’s was back up and operating by Tuesday afternoon.
"There is towing companies involved too, which is, right now, with insurance companies is a hot button issue. Unfortunately successful collision shops such as my client get targeted," Haney said.
Sources say there were other search warrants served on Tuesday in the area as well. The Attorney General’s Office is not commenting on the investigation at this point.