FOX 8 Defenders: State agency takes action against limo company

The Louisiana Public Service Commission has issued an order against a Marrero limo company for alleged violations the FOX 8 Defenders uncovered in an ongoing investigation since May.

The order names AAA Louisiana Limo, X Investments and Royal Dealerships Inc. doing business as Louisiana Limousine Inc. It requires the company to appear at a hearing September 11th before a PSC administrative law judge in Baton Rouge.

In our series of investigative reports, the FOX 8 Defenders uncovered 34-year-old Sean Lewis has been operating a questionable limo company, advertising limos and limo buses online, but then showing up with old school buses to transport passengers.

We also exposed Lewis' companies, which operate under many names, including Louisiana Limousine, Inc. don't have the authority to transport passengers, according to the PSC. That means Lewis' vehicles are not getting annual state inspections, and consumers have no way of knowing whether they're safe or carry the proper insurance.

The order lists alleged PSC violations in February, March and April of this year where Louisiana Limousine Inc. operated without proper registration and authority. All three of those complaints were first exposed by the FOX 8 Defenders.

"I'm in my dress you know, makeup is on, and I'm calling and talking to this guy, and I'm just crying because my family isn't going to make it to my wedding," explained a local bride. Instead of the white limo bus she reserved and paid for, a black and red school bus showed up for her wedding.

"The a/c wasn't working. The car kept on killing on them, at least six times on the side of the road. The lights inside didn't work. The headlight was burned. They finally make it to prom around 10. It was all over. Everybody was leaving," said Jule Arabie. The six hour trip she says they paid $900 for got cut in half the night of her daughter's senior prom. She said the driver was worried the limo would stop running.

Then there's Cat Fonseca. "I'm like ready at the front door, like me and my bridesmaids, my dad - we're all at the front door just waiting, thinking he's gonna pull up any minute and we're gonna go," explained Fonseca. The stretch limo she paid for on her wedding day was a no show.

None of the these consumers has received a refund. After our reports, all three women filed formal complaints with the PSC.

At the hearing next month, Public Service Commission staff will present evidence to support the consumers' allegations, and Louisiana Limousine Inc will get an opportunity to defend itself.

While the PSC moves forward with civil action, Public Service Commissioner Eric Skrmetta says his office is also investigating whether this company crossed the line into criminal action, and Skrmetta says his office is working with several area district attorneys.

We've reached out to Sean Lewis and Louisiana Limousine Inc. countless times for comment, but they have not been cooperative.

If you have a consumer complaint, call the FOX 8 Defenders staffed with volunteers from the National Council of Jewish Women or fill out our online complaint form.

Copyright 2014 WVUE. All rights reserved.