Towing-company operator pleads not guilty to several charges

Lexington towing company operator George Michael Winchester, accused of overcharging customers and failing to file or filing false tax returns, pleaded not guilty to those and other charges this week in Fayette Circuit Court.

A grand jury indicted Winchester last month on 43 charges. Included are six counts of theft by deception — three felonies and three misdemeanors — for allegedly overcharging customers; three felony counts of filing or making a false tax return; two felony counts of failing to file a tax return; 21 counts of failing to obtain a receipt for vehicles; and 11 counts of prohibited acts by a tow truck service or operator.

Winchester was arrested in March; police said they had received dozens of complaints from people alleging that they had been overcharged by Winchester for towing and impounding their vehicles. Winchester has said that if he overcharged people, it was by mistake.

A hearing in the case has been set for May 20 in Fayette Circuit Court.