November 12, 2019
New Jersey Moving Company Officials Involved in Household Goods Moving Fraud Scheme Plead Guilty
On November 12 and November 14, 2019, Rami Zubidat and Richard Bishara, respectively, pleaded guilty to separate informations charging them with conspiracy related to a household goods moving fraud scheme.
Zubidat, Bishara, and their 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 the 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, Bishara, and their 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 (HSI) and the U.S. Postal Inspection Service.