Household Goods Moving Company Operations Manager Sentenced for "Low-Ball" Estimate Scam
On April 2, 2014, Asaf Nass, operations manager of AY Transport, Inc. (AY), a household goods moving company located in San Jose, California, was sentenced in U.S. District Court, San Jose, California, to 18 months incarceration and three years of supervised release and was ordered to pay a $100 special assessment in connection with a household goods moving scheme. He was also ordered to pay restitution, which will be determined at a later date.
Our investigation disclosed that AY participated in a "low-ball estimate" scheme with National Moving Network (NMN), a household goods broker located in Miami, Florida. NMN estimators artificially quoted customers low estimates to move their household goods, then referred a majority of the moves to AY. Upon taking custody of a customer’s goods, AY employees raised the price, typically at Nass’ direction. The increased fees for release of the goods sometimes totaled two to three times the amount of the original bid provided by NMN. If customers refused to pay the fees, their goods were sometimes held in storage lockers, and occasionally, Nass instructed AY employees to sell the customers’ goods at auction. On February 26, 2014, Randy Goldberg, former owner and president of NMN, was sentenced in U.S. District Court, San Jose, California, to 18 months incarceration, followed by one year of supervised release.
We conducted this investigation jointly with the Federal Bureau of Investigation and Internal Revenue Service – Criminal Investigation, with assistance from the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration.