Fifty arrested in Florida household goods sting

| 3/13/2003

The U.S. Department of Transportation’s Office of the Inspector General and FBI special agents have arrested 50 individuals following a sting in Florida involving household-goods moving fraud.

The operation involves 74 individuals and 16 moving companies in Miami, Fort Lauderdale and other cities in southern Florida. On March 6, federal grand juries in Miami handed down eight indictments charging the companies and individual owners, operators and employees with fraud, extortion, creating false weight tickets and, in some cases, money laundering in the conspiracy.

The defendants allegedly lured customers with low estimates and then fraudulently jacked up the price of the move, withholding possessions in undisclosed locations until the customers paid up. While the indictments name 16 firms, the individual defendants are the listed owners and or operators of more than 40 different moving companies.