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Moving Company Employees Fined $1.1 Million and Sentenced to Prison for Extorting Money from Customers

In the latest development in the ongoing investigations of fraudulent household goods movers, five employees of three moving companies—one in Brooklyn, NY and two in the Miami, FL area—were ordered to pay $1.1 million in restitution for their part in conspiracies to extort money from their customers.

Barry Minsky, former owner of Official Moving and Storage of Brooklyn, NY, was ordered by a U.S. District Court judge in Brooklyn on December 17 to pay $710,000 in restitution. Minsky pleaded guilt in July 2002 to conspiracy charges.

On December 18, three former employees of Majesty Moving & Storage of Sunrise, FL, were ordered by a U.S. District Court judge in Miami, FL, to spend 5 ½ years in prison and pay $377,305 in restitution for their role in defrauding household goods customers. The three—Nissim Edri, Shimon Buhdana, and Timna Levy—pleaded guilty in August 2003. When Edri completes his prison term, he will be released to immigration officials for possible deportation to Israel.

In a separate but related case, Roee Bugatti, foreman for Southeastern Van Lines of North Miami, FL, was ordered by a U.S. District Court judge in Miami on December 30 to spend 10 months in prison and pay $13, 575 in restitution. Bugatti pleaded guilty in September 2003.