In February of 2003, Moshe Elmakias a/k/a “Moses Makias", along with 6 other co-conspirators, was indicted on charges of conspiracy, extortion, and making a false bill of lading. Investigators believe that Elmakias and his co‐conspirators lured numerous customers with artificially low moving estimates, and then extorted them by holding their household goods hostage until they paid fraudulently inflated prices.
Elmakias was a foreman for Moving Systems Inc., AAA Van Lines, Ameri Van Lines, and SI Trucking, Florida-based moving companies. According to court documents, Between January 2001 and February 2003, Elmakias and his co-conspirators solicited business for these companies by offering artificially low estimates for moving prices. As a foreman, Elmakias supervised the actual loading and/or delivery of customers' goods and typically rushed customers through paperwork, causing them to sign blank or incomplete documents. Once the customers' goods had been loaded, Elmakias and his co-conspirators would inflate the total price of the move by two to seven times the original estimate, claiming that the customers' goods occupied more cubic feet than had been originally estimated by the companies and/or by overcharging the customers for packing materials.
Elmakias and his co-conspirators would demand full payment of the inflated price before they would deliver their goods. He ignored customers' repeated complaints about the inflated price and/or lied to the customers about the delivery of their goods, often using false names when dealing with customers over the telephone and in writing. When customers refused to pay the inflated price, Elmakias and his co-conspirators arranged to warehouse customers' goods, threatened to sell their goods, and refused to divulge the location of the goods to customers.
Elmakias was born in Israel and was last known to be residing in Hollywood, Florida.