This week, the New Jersey Division of Consumer Affairs cited 26 unlicensed HHG carriers for performing intrastate and interstate moves and violating federal regulations.
“Operation Mother’s Attic” was led by the states Consumer Affairs department. The undercover sting focused unlicensed companies that advertised intrastate moves within New Jersey.
In total, 26 companies each received $2,500. In addition, the FMCSA has filed additional penalties against two of the companies for performing interstate moves.
Operation Mother’s Attic took place from November 19 to 22. In the days leading up to the sting, state Consumer Affairs investigators posed as customers seeking to move.
All 26 unlicensed carriers made arrangements with the undercover investigators at a self-storage facility where they were confronted by Consumer Affairs investigators, the FMCSA, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement and the New Jersey State Police.
“The goal of this undercover operation is to bring these moving companies into compliance with the law, or keep them out of our State – to protect New Jersey’s consumers, and to ensure a competitive playing field for New Jersey’s 290 duly licensed moving companies,” Director Kanefsky said. “In addition, we have become one of the first states to join with the U.S. Department of Transportation in a partnership that will enable the Division of Consumer Affairs to enforce federal laws pertaining to interstate movers.”
Under New Jersey law, all HHG carriers must be licensed by the New Jersey State Division of Consumer Affairs. In addition, the companies must carry liability insurance, workers’ compensation insurance and bodily and property damage insurance.
“Unscrupulous movers that attempt to evade consumer protection regulations are often as likely to disregard safety requirements that serve to protect everyone traveling on our highways and roads,” FMCSA Administrator Anne S. Ferro said. “We are pleased to be a partner with the state of New Jersey’s Attorney General’s Office to bring the weight of state and federal consequences upon rogue movers that run outside the rules of law.”
Some statistics from the sting operation from the New Jersey Division of Consumer Affairs:
- 26 unlicensed moving companies face State civil penalties of $2,500 each, for soliciting intrastate moving work without a State license.
- Two of the companies face Federal civil penalties of $25,000 each, for allegedly having performed interstate moves without the necessary Federal operating authority.
- Two moving company employees were arrested by U.S. Immigrations and Customs Enforcement officers on site, due to outstanding warrants.
- Despite the requirement that moving companies keep their vehicles properly registered and insured, seven unlicensed moving companies appeared with rental trucks or a rental trailer from U-Haul, Budget, or other rental companies.
- State Police condemned one moving company’s truck for dangerous safety violations, including severely warn tires and leaking oil.
- Eight of the unlicensed movers had listings on Craigslist. Five had listings on Angie’s List. Nine used their own websites. The rest were listed in online third-party moving websites or other Internet venues. Director Kanefsky noted that an attractive online listing does not mean a company is licensed or reputable.
The 26 companies have been ordered to meet with Consumer Affairs investigators and face Notices of Violation of civil penalties. The $2,500 penalty will be reduced to $1,250 for any company that applies for state licensure within 30 days.
“The following moving companies are alleged to be unlicensed, and face State civil penalties as a result of the operation. The companies have an opportunity to request a hearing before the Director of the Division of Consumer Affairs, if they dispute the allegations against them,” Consumer Affairs stated.
- 2 Men and a Truck, of Garfield
- A Few Good Guys With a Truck, of East Orange
- Active Moving, Inc., aka Manhattan Movers, aka Best Movers, of Brooklyn, N.Y.
- Alessi Moving, Inc., d/b/a Alessi Moving & Storage, of Stockholm
- Always Moving Services, Inc., aka NYC Affordable Moving, of East Orange
- Blue Star Moving & Storage, LLC, of Paterson
- Cardinal Moving, Inc., of Wayne
- Cheap as Heck Movers, LLC, of East Orange
- D&D Moving & Delivery, aka NNJ Moving Help, of Palisades Park
- Deliveries Made Correct Enterprise, LLC, aka Budget Movers, of East Orange
- E.J. Mayer Transportation Systems, Inc., d/b/a EJ Mayer Moving, of Westwood
- Elite Movers, of Paterson
- George’s Moving & Trucking Co., Inc. aka George’s & Son’s Moving, of Rockaway
- Good Life Moving Services, of Orange
- Jaco Movers, LLC, of Middlesex
- Jesus Loves Moving, LLC, of Newark
- Just In Time Moving and Storage, Inc., of Kenilworth
- Lakewood Movers, LLC, of Lakewood
- M4U Inc., d/b/a Moving For You, of Ridgefield
- Metro Movers, LLC, of Jersey City
- Morristown Moving Services, LLC d/b/a M.M.S Delivery Service, aka MMS Moving Service, LLC, of Waldwick
- Moving Help, aka A1 Movers, of Parsippany
- Plantwurx aka Van & a Man, of Fort Lee
- Practical Movers, Inc., aka South Jersey Movers, Inc., of Philadelphia, P.A.
- Shamrock Moving & Storage, Inc., of Galloway
- TLC Movers, LLC, of Marlboro
Cardinal Moving and Shamrock Moving & Storage also face $25,000 Federal civil penalties.