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Attorney General Sues South Shore Driving School

By Joe Shortsleeve, WBZ-TV
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WBZ-TV's Joe Shortsleeve Joe Shortsleeve
Joe Shortsleeve is chief correspondent for WBZ-TV News weekdays a...
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BOSTON (CBS) – The Attorney General is suing Woods South Shore Auto School which mysteriously closed after decades in business. Chief Correspondent Joe Shortsleeve says as many as 200 students are now owed tens of thousands of dollars.

“We are very frustrated,” says Carol Land. “We are very unhappy. We are at a loss.”

Lang is one of many parents on the South Shore who say they got scammed by the school and are out thousands of dollars.

In business for over 50 years, the brick building in the Weymouth Landing area is now vacant.

Lang paid over $500 for her daughter Rachel to get drivers education but was never able to complete the full course last fall because of the November shutdown.

There were warning signs, because when parents called to book driving time for their teenage drivers, there was never any time available. Then one morning they awoke to find a notice on the company’s website that Woods South Shore Auto School had closed.

Lang says she contacted the Attorney General, “Because we were not getting anywhere. There were no phones, no one to contact. We are at a loss. We did not know what to do or where to turn.”

On May 10th, Attorney General Martha Coakley’s office stepped in and froze the assets of the driving school. The office also filed a civil complaint in attempt recover up to $100,000 for dozens of families.

Coakley spoke with Joe Shortsleeve about the case.

“In this instance where we had as many as 30 complaints, we knew there is problem with this business and we needed to investigate,” says Coakley.

“We want to protect consumers going forward and we want to provide money back to people who paid to get a license but were not able to because they couldn’t get the service they were promised as part of a contract.”

WBZ tried to contact the owner of the driving school, Thomas J. Ford, but no one returned our phone calls or answered the door at his address in Weymouth which is just a short distance from the school.

In December, Coakley’s office sued “Cams” Driving School in Waltham, claiming it owed consumers $175,000 when it abruptly closed. Now, WBZ has learned the Attorney General has three new formal complaints against “Driver’s Choice Driving School” in Mansfield with offices in Attleboro and Rehoboth.

That school also reportedly just closed its doors.

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