Brooklyn Jury Convicts Three Household Movers for Defrauding Public
In the latest development in the ongoing investigations of fraudulent household goods movers, three men who head five Brooklyn, NY, moving companies were convicted by a jury after a 6-week trial in U.S. District Court in Brooklyn, for their part in a conspiracy to extort money from their customers. The defendants Avinoam Damti, Ofer Yosef, and Shlomo Hababa, all residents of the New York metropolitan area, participated in a scheme to lure customers moving interstate with artificially low estimates, only to later threaten to hold their possessions hostage until large additional payments were made. The men controlled Jacoby Moving and Storage, Inc.; Official Moving and Storage; On-Time Van Lines; and Newstart Moving, Inc.; and Starving Students Moving and Storage. The three were charged in April 2002. A sentencing date has not been set. OIG and the FBI conducted the investigation, with assistance from FMCSA.