HINCKLEY – The Illinois Tollway is firing back at companies it says have routinely failed to pay tolls with an online "wall of shame" that includes four DeKalb County-based businesses.
The agency posted the names and amounts it says are owed by 157 so-called "super scofflaws" in an effort to shame them into paying up. The list includes offenders that owe more than $1,000 in tolls and fines, and is topped by a Frankfort-based company named Landa Transport that the agency says owes $214,859.
The offenders owe $3.7 million, the toll authority says.
"The tollway is committed to using every option available to us to try to collect millions of dollars in unpaid tolls and fines from delinquent drivers," Illinois Tollway Executive Director Kristi Lafleur said.
Many of the companies appear to be bankrupt or out of business.
Four companies from DeKalb County owe a combined $280,000 according to the website.
Steve's Underdog Trucking, of Hinckley, makes up the lion's share of that figure. The tollway says the company owes $192,742 in unpaid tolls and penalties – second-most of any company in the state.
A message left with Steve's Underdog Trucking was not immediately returned Friday.
At No. 17 on the list is B & E Sewer & Water Inc., of Sandwich, which the tollway said owes $60,367. A phone number listed for the company is no longer in service.
Genoa Motorsports Inc., of Sycamore, came in at No. 47 because the tollway says it owes $21,423.
A man who answered a call placed to the company said it had since gone out of business but was still in the process of filing for bankruptcy. The man, who said he was a former manager for the dealership but declined to give his name, said the tollway had taken them to court but that the amounts allegedly owed were ridiculous.
"That would mean that we would have to go through the tollway four or five thousand times," he said. "That doesn't make sense for a small dealership with a few cars and four or five plates."
At No. 103 on the tollway's list is DeKalb-based Elite Mobile Services, which is said to owe $5,464. A number listed for the company is no longer in service.
The list came about through a law signed this week by Gov. Pat Quinn that had been in the works since April, and the Illinois Tollway says it will be updated quarterly.
A release from the agency said each of the listed violators had been contacted at least nine times for payment, and that the agency has begun to work with the Illinois Comptroller's office to withhold tax refunds from some of the worst offenders.
BY THE NUMBERS
Rank Company Amount owed City
2 Steve's Underdog Trucking $192,742.20 Hinckley
17 B & E Sewer Water Inc. $60,366.75 Sandwich
47 Genoa Motorsports Inc. $21,422.95 Sycamore
103 Elite Mobile Services Inc. $5,464.15 DeKalb