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Investigations

Date

South Florida Moving Company and Its Owner Fined $2.2 Million for Deceptive Practices

On January 14, 2021, a final judgement was entered against Charlie Sean Ohana and his company—Finest Movers Inc., d.b.a as East Coast Moving & Storage—in the Southern District of Florida. The consent final judgment and stipulated permanent injunction totaled $2,273,669, consisting of $1.7 million in civil penalties, $373,669 in consumer relief, and $200,000 in legal fees.The judgement responded to the Florida Attorney General’s Office December 2018 civil complaint filings against seven individuals and their respective companies—a total of 19 household goods companies or their affiliated entities—for deceptive moving practices.
 
The Federal civil filing was part of a joint household goods investigation aimed at various household goods moving companies. The Florida Attorney General's Office completed the filings reports in furtherance of both the State and Federal civil prosecution. The complaints allege the moving companies deliberately loaded people's belongings onto a truck, raised prices, and forced customers to pay before releasing the items. The moving companies allegedly used false or deceptive advertising to entice consumers to purchase moving services. The companies also claimed the services would be performed by highly trained professional or expert movers. However, untrained laborers regularly performed the moves, often causing damage to, destroying, or stealing the consumers' property. Also, many consumers allegedly received low-price and binding estimates from the companies.
 
DOT-OIG is conducting this investigation with the Florida Attorney General’s Office, Consumer Protection Division.