Last Updated on June 5, 2017 by Lawrence Berezin
Parking Ticket Busters was scamming the Evil Empire with phony evidence
Giancarlo De Lellis, a home improvement contractor with jobs in Manhattan, hired Parking Ticket Busters to fight his company’s NYC parking tickets. During the course of the next three years, parkingticketbusters.com beat hundreds of tickets for Mr. De Lellis and other clients. And then the roof caved in…
Last autumn, a parking ticket judge noticed that the proof in one case looked suspicious, and sent it to the fraud division for parking violations in the city’s Department of Finance. A meter receipt seemed to show that Mr. De Lellis had, in fact, paid the meter at the very time that the ticket was issued.
Actually, the receipt had been doctored. So had hundreds more submitted by Mr. Amofah on behalf of Mr. De Lellis and other clients, according to Ellen Young Fein, director of legal affairs for the parking division. Real receipts were altered to cover the time and date of the tickets. But an investigation found they had been issued by machines not in service at the relevant time or showed rates not charged at those meters, or more hours than were available.
The Evil Empire wants De Lellis to show them the money for Parking Ticket Busters fraud
According to the Evil Empire, the law is clear. The owner of the vehicles was responsible for the fraud. Here’s the math:
-One $65 parking ticket plus fraud penalties morphs into $345
-$25,400 worth of fines over the course of three years plus penalties becomes $132,038
That’s the amount the Evil Empire is seeking to recover from Mr. De Lellis.
Mr. De Lellis fights back
De Lellis created a website to alert the driving public to the fraud and to present one of his arguments against the Evil Empire.
This is a case where ignorance was bliss for three years, and then all hell broke loose. If a company driver is issued a parking violation for the failure to display muni-meter receipt and has no paid muni-meter receipt to send to Parking Ticket Busters, how did the owner of the company think $25,400 worth of parking tickets were dismissed? Defects or Magic?
Although Mr. De Lellis did not have actual knowledge that Parking Ticket Busters was cheating, would a reasonable man have inquired about how all these parking tickets were dismissed?
What if Mr. De Lellis knew that the owner of a company was required to pay for all the parking tickets that were dismissed due to the bad behavior of a broker, would he have been more vigilant? Or, was it totally o.k. for De Lellis to rely on the expertise and integrity of an ex-parking ticket judge, who was the owner of Parking Ticket Busters, without making further inquiry about how the dismissals were obtained?
I’d love to hear your thoughts. Please comment.
“If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.”
Sally Purifoy says
Too good to be true and personal responsibility – Bernie Madoff comes to mind…
I always read and find your emails helpful. In fact, I won an appeal of a bus stop parking ticket using your “incorrect bus stop address” information. Many thanks!!
Lawrence Berezin says
(I am really happy you beat the nasty bus stop ticket. Thanks for the heads-up).
Hi Larry, unfortunately there are dozens of victims like MYSELF who had the misfortune of dealing with this former ALJ and was informed by another victim recently that this company was still dismissing tickets for him up until two weeks ago (my article ran over a month ago). This person gamed the system and took advantage for his own financial benefit. There are plenty of legitimate third party brokers who provide this type of service and I thought this was one. This was a massive overlook on behalf of DOF PVB, unfortunately they decided that the easy way out would be to point there fingers to the small business owners. We were scammed just as much as the DOF was by this scumbag.
Lawrence Berezin says
I felt absolutely terrible after learning about your situation. I totally agree about the hurtful behavior of the Evil Empire to go after the victims of the scam.
Thanks for sharing your comment, GD.
Yes, we had our appeal hearing this past Wednesday in which I had to retain council. As expected, the city seems to be sticking to there guns and pressing the vehicle owners (me and hundreds others ) for full amounts plus late fees, treble fees, etc. I receive my official verdict in the mail in the next week or two but i’ll keep you posted, who would have thought that the City and parking tickets would force me and my company I worked so hard for into bankruptcy.
Dear Larry, any advice would be appreciated to help my dad beat a very expensive ticket ($115). My brother had been at Javitz Center and my father was attempting to pick him up by car. He was traveling southbound on the right lane and intended to stop very briefly to pick him up at 38th & 11th (just 15 feet south), traffic sign was “no standing bus stop”. He then tried to leave the lane immediately but was completely stuck in total gridlock as there were cars behind , in front, and to the left not moving. His car was angled to exit the lane but was physically unable to leave the lane due to gridlock. The main reason the cars in front and to the left were unable to move was because there were hundreds if not thousands of people streaming out of Javitz Center (as a trade show was ending just then at 5PM) and crossing the the road eastward at the crosswalk both at 38th St & 11th Av and 37th St & 11th Av without regard for the traffic light and the crosswalk light. It was impossible to move anywhere without hitting a person or a vehicle.
He explained this to the officer, and it was very obvious to the officer that he wasn’t able to leave the lane but he proceeded to issue a summons anyway. He also, incredibly, gave tickets to the cars in the left lane and the middle lane (the two lanes to the left of my father’s car) and the drivers were audibly questioning why they were getting tickets. All cars around (front, back and left) were at a standstill due to both vehicle gridlock & heavy pedestrian traffic ahead and behind so it was difficult to understand why the traffic officer was giving tickets.
Do we have a case? What can you do when you can’t obey traffic rules (leave bus lane immediately after picking up passenger) due to gridlock or pedestrian traffic? Don’t pedestrians have right of way?
Thank you in advance,
Lawrence Berezin says
Sorry that your Dad was captured and held hostage by a bus lane.
You raise an interesting question. Here’s the bus lane rule:
(m) Bus lane restrictions on city streets.
When signs are erected giving notice of bus lane restrictions, no person shall drive a vehicle other than a bus within a designated bus lane during the restricted hours, except:
(1) to use such bus lane in order to make a right-hand turn where permitted into a street, private road, private drive, or an entrance to private property in a safe manner; or
(2) to approach to or leave the curbside space, unless standing or stopping at the curb is prohibited by sign or rule; or
(3) temporarily to enter or leave the bus lane for the purpose of and while actually engaged in expeditiously receiving or discharging passengers, except when such activity is prohibited by signs or rules; or
(4) to avoid an obstacle which obstructs the roadway and leaves fewer than ten feet of roadway width available for the free movement of vehicular traffic (except for temporary situations such as slow moving traffic and vehicles loading refuse); or
(5) to comply with the direction of any law enforcement officer or other person authorized to enforce this rule.
With respect to the exceptions in paragraphs one through four of this subdivision, a vehicle may not be operated in the bus lane during restricted hours for more than two hundred feet. The preceding sentence does not apply where posted signs, markings or other traffic control devices indicate otherwise.
-You are permitted to enter a bus lane during the restricted hours to make the next right hand turn
-You are permitted to enter a bus lane during the restricted hours to expeditiously pick up a passenger waiting at the curb
-You cannot travel in a bus lane for more than 200 feet
I would focus on these elements rather than fighting about the effect of gridlock on your ability to leave the bus lane.
Dear Larry, We won!! We Won!! Thank you for your help! I can’t make sense of the judge’s comments though, any idea?
“The respondent has been charged with violating Traffic Rule 4-08(c)(3) by standing or parking a vehicle, other than an authorized bus in its assigned bus stop, when any such stop has been officially designated and appropriately posted. Respondent claims operator in
driver’s seat and ID not requested and that the summons was not personally served on operator present. The summons is dismissed for lack of personal service.”
Is he/she basically saying the defense was no good but he/she was in the mood to be merciful?
Lawrence Berezin says
A parking ticket judge always considers technical defenses first and found there was a lack of proper service. She doesn’t have to go any further because you were entitled to a dismissal.
Nicely done, Emily.