Carol Ostrow Mar. 27, 2015, 9:38am

A business that leases automatic teller machines has sued one of its customers, alleging breach of contract.

Phonco Communications Inc., of Lansing, filed a lawsuit March 20 in Cook County Circuit Court against Mohammed Abdallah, alleging willful breach of duty.

The plaintiff leases, installs, operates and services ATMs in and around Cook County. According to the complaint, under a verbal agreement, Phonco installed and leased ATM machines to the defendant at three of his gas stations in Chicago in October 2014. Abdallah terminated the leases Dec. 4, 2014, the suit states, but has not returned the machines to Phonco or permitted Phonco to retrieve them, despite written communication from the plaintiff.

The suit states the ATMs are no longer at the stations, that the ATMs have been wrongfully detained by the defendant and that the taking and conversion of the devices was done willfully and maliciously.

Phonco seeks a return of the machines or judgment for their value in excess of $10,000, damages for wrongful detention in the amount of an additional $5,000, plus at least another $100,000 for punitive damages, attorney fees and costs.

The plaintiff is represented by attorneys Jonathan Weis and Kristen O’Neill of Levin Ginsburg in Chicago.


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