June 12, 2019
New Jersey Moving Company Owner Pleads Guilty in Household Goods Moving Fraud Scheme
On June 12, 2019, in U.S. District Court, Newark, New Jersey, Rami Zubidat pleaded guilty to an information that charged him with conspiracy related to a household goods moving fraud scheme.
Zubidat and his co-conspirators controlled and operated a number of New Jersey–based moving companies. Although the companies were established as separate legal entities, they shared bank accounts, post office boxes, employees, and an office space. Customers were quoted “low ball” price estimates for moving household goods. Then—once the goods were loaded on the trucks—the prices were raised, putting customers in vulnerable positions. Between 2013 and 2015, these companies handled hundreds of moves, increasing their final prices above the amount allowed by Federal regulations. To avoid detection by law enforcement, Zubidat and his co-conspirators created fictitious moving companies and registered them with fictitious owners and addresses. When customers made complaints against one company, the co-conspirators would shut it down and create a new one.
DOT-OIG conducted this investigation with Homeland Security Investigations and the U.S. Postal Inspection Service.