A Cook County company is suing over claims a former employee unlawfully opened a mufflers and brakes shop using its name.

Velasquez Mufflers & Brakes Inc., formerly known as Velasquez & Son's Inc., filed a lawsuit Sept. 15 in Cook County Circuit Court against Velasquez & Son's Mufflers & Brakes, Velasquez Mufflers & Brakes and Leo Martinez, citing deceptive trade practices.

According to the complaint, the plaintiff company was founded in the mid-1980s by Francisco Velasquez and flourished over the years due to the development of the brand and the opening of additional shops in the Chicagoland area.

The plaintiff claims Martinez, a manager of one of its shops, was brought in as part-owner of three of its shops, but in 2013, improperly used its tax ID and business registration to open a fourth shop in McHenry and others to abuse pricing terms with vendors.

Martinez is accused of deceptive trade practices, unfair competition and deceptive business practices, and intentional interference with prospective economic advantage.

The plaintiff is represented by attorney Jeffrey E. Crane of The Law Offices of Jeffrey E. Crane in Chicago.

Cook County Circuit Court case number: 14CH14901.

This is a report on a civil lawsuit filed in Cook County Circuit Court. The details in this report come from an original complaint filed by a plaintiff. Please note, a complaint represents an accusation by a private individual, not the government. It is not an indication of guilt and it only represents one side of the story.

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