A federal grand jury has charged 12 people with conspiring in a racketeering enterprise to defraud customers through their moving companies.
The companies were located throughout the United States including North Carolina, Florida, Ohio, Maryland, Illinois, Texas, California, Connecticut, Colorado and Missouri.
Investigators said the scammers would create moving companies with false reviews about their great service, lie to potential customers about how long the businesses had been in existence, and provide customers with a low estimate. After the customers agreed to hire the moving companies, employees of the moving companies would allegedly load the customers' goods onto the truck and then bump the price of the move.
The defendants and the moving companies would allegedly refuse to give back the household goods until customers paid the inflated prices.
So far more than 900 customers have been identified as victims.
According to the indictment, the defendants operated and worked through a number of affiliated moving companies, which include:
First National Moving and Storage
Public Moving and Storage
Flagship Van Lines
Public Moving Services
Independent Van Lines
Smart Relocation Solutions
Trident Auto Shipping
National Relocation Van Lines
Unified Van Lines
National Relocation Solutions
United National Moving and Storage
Presidential Moving Services
US Relocation Systems
Those arrested this week include:
Andrey Shuklin, 31, Miami, Fla.
Phyllis Ricci Quincoces, 51, Hollywood, Fla.
Vladimir Pestereanu, 28, Sunny Isles Beach, Fla.
Roman Iakovlev, 31, Charlotte, N.C.
Jessica Martin, 28, Tamarac, Fla.