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Three Sentenced in Moving Scam Involving Up to 875 Possible Victims

In a household goods moving extortion scam that involved companies in New York, Florida, and California, Etienne Tsitron, Micha Grinberg, and Amir Ben David were sentenced in U.S. District Court in Los Angeles, CA, for mail and wire fraud conspiracy that may have attempted to defraud up to 875 customers. After moving the customers’ household goods, the defendants held them as ransom unless the victims agreed to pay huge extra amounts.

Tsitron and Grinberg were each sentenced on June 26, 2000 to 33 months in jail and ordered to pay a total of $484,765 each to their victims. On June 5, 2000, Ben David was fined $5,000 and ordered to pay restitution of $14,600. Grinberg operated North American Moving and Storage, Los Angeles, also known as United Interstate Movers. Tsitron managed Strong and Gentle Moving Company, Brooklyn, NY. Ben David operated Prime Moving and Storage, Hackensack, NJ. A fourth moving company, AAA Moving Systems, Aventura, FL, was also involved. An arrest warrant was issued for a fourth defendant, Moshe Elnadav, in June 2002. He is still a fugitive and believed to be out of the country. OIG investigated the case with the FBI.