Keith Loria Jul. 22, 2010, 12:00pm
CHICAGO (Legal Newsline) - Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan announced on Wednesday that she has brought a lawsuit against a tour bus company for allegedly violating the Illinois Consumer Fraud Act.
The lawsuit alleges that Sleepless in the City Bus Service, Inc., and its owner Richard Lawrence collected money and failed to provide contracted transportation services, failed to respond to refund requests and failed to respond to consumers' requests in a timely manner.
The company allegedly defrauded a group of hearing-impaired students and their families on a trip to tour the Illinois School for the Deaf and defrauded a transportation business out of almost $100,000 when buses promised for a golf tournament in Kentucky were not provided.
"Sleepless in the City's customers paid a lot of money for transportation to take their kids on an important trip. They were taken for a ride but it wasn't on a bus," Madigan said. "This company is clearly more interested in pocketing people's money than in providing the transportation services they claim to offer."
In April 2009, the Illinois Service Resource Center paid $1,750 to Sleepless in advance of their trip, but a bus allegedly never came for the 55 hearing-impaired students and their families.
Allegedly, after numerous phone calls and a four-hour wait, the ISRC hired another bus company to transport the group, at a cost of $3,100. The ISRC says it asked for a refund in writing twice, but never received one.
In July 2008, The Convention Store paid Sleepless a $132,233 down payment to provide several buses for use over a five-day period for the Ryder Cup, but Sleepless failed to provide any buses on one day and only offered partial service on the other four days, it is alleged. When the Convention Store requested a $92,000 refund, it was denied.
Madigan's lawsuit asks the court enjoin the defendants from engaging in any other deceptive and unfair acts and practices and also seeks restitution for consumers, a $50,000 civil penalty per defendant and additional penalties of $50,000 for each act committed with the intent to defraud.