Unlicensed movers left dozens of families stranded with their belongings, and the effects of such a heist can be devastating for those who depend on what they have. Moving companies are vital to many people’s daily lives, but if it turns out the company is unlicensed then there may not be any recourse for victims like these struggling families.
The “out of state moving companies” is a company that was hired to move dozens of families from one state to another. The company never arrived, and the families lost their belongings.
(CBSLA) – LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) – A moving business that is not registered to operate in California is now under criminal investigation after scores of consumers paid the firm to transport their possessions across the nation only to discover that their goods were in storage and may be auctioned off.
For families who lost furniture, clothes, and precious possessions that will never be replaced, what was intended to be a fresh chapter in their life turned into an endless nightmare.
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Maribel Moses and her boyfriend were searching for a moving firm to help them move from Los Angeles to Vermont, where Moses would begin law school, in April.
“You receive a lot of solicitous phone calls throughout that process,” Moses told CBSLA’s Kristine Lazar. “So I answered the phone, and it was a firm named Gold Standard Moving and Storage.”
When the big day came in July, the movers were three days late, which was not what Moses had hoped for.
“Eventually, they arrive in an Enterprise rental truck,” Moses said.
Moses claimed she discovered Gold Standard was a broker who had engaged East Freight Logistics to handle the shipment at that time. Maribel quickly looked up East Freight and found a slew of unfavorable reviews. She claims she attempted to cancel, but Gold Standard informed her it was too late and she would lose her $1,300 deposit.
“We were offered the highest level of confidence that our belongings would arrive securely,” Moses stated.
Moses’ contract stated that delivery would take 7 to 21 days. However, her stuff had still not arrived by September.
“Sometimes I’d phone, and she’d say, ‘We have a driver,’ and he’d be there in six days,” Moses said. “Other times, I’d phone, and she’d say, ‘Oh, just joking, we don’t have a driver, we’re searching for someone else.’ So that’s been tying us up the entire time.”
Moses was in a panic by October.
“We don’t have a sofa,” Moses said. “We don’t have any cooking pots or pans.” My boyfriend had his yearbooks and family photographs from his youth. Since I was a youngster, I’ve had jewelry from my grandmother.”
Moses was in desperate need of assistance when he came upon a Facebook group called “East Freight Logistics Fraud.” She discovered that she is not alone. David and Brenda Smith, who relocated to Ohio from Victorville in June, had a similar experience.
“We haven’t had any fun since this is our everyday existence, trying to figure out where our belongings are,” David Smith said.
“My baby weighed one pound when she was born,” Smith added. “We’ve lost all of her hospital and graduation photos.” She doesn’t have anything to show her children.”
In June, Christy Clark relocated across the nation to Florida. Gold Standard was also employed, despite the fact that they were merely a broker. She claims she phoned East Freight Logistics on day 80 of her wait for her stuff to arrive.
“My son is missing his belongings,” Clark said. “I don’t have any baby photos.” The ashes of my husband’s grandparents are buried there. I can’t believe you’re so cold-hearted. And she told me I either wait another 10 to 14 days or drive to California and recover my belongings.”
So she did, and when she got to the storage facility where her items were being housed, she learned that the rent had not been paid, and her possessions were being auctioned off.
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“They recommended that I wait in Victorville and attempt to bid on my own items,” Clark said.
Clark contacted the local police department and was able to retrieve her belongings. However, she saw the things of other persons in the same storage facility.
“And it means that some individuals will never see their belongings again, which is tragic,” Clark added.
East Freight Logistics is not permitted to “perform relocation of home items” in California, according to the California Department of Consumer Affairs. It has filed 93 complaints with the US Department of Transportation this year alone. The majority of them for failing to deliver items.
Gold Standard’s broker licence was removed earlier this month, effectively putting the company out of business until it is restored.
When Carrie Clark, no connection to Christy, signed a contract with Gold Standard, she had no idea she was hiring a broker.
Carrie Clark claimed, “I had no clue they had mediated the transfer to anybody.” “They never said anything about it.”
She said, “I phoned and called and called.” “My phone number would be blacklisted.”
Carrie Clark was out of work, so she got obsessed with learning all she could about East Freight. It led her to a leased room in a Salvation Army facility in Grants Pass, Oregon.
“I observed no order and open and gone through boxes and items,” Carrie Clark said. “I noticed furniture and boxes stacked high and disorganized. Many individuals know your name, and they use these little tags to identify your belongings. “Piles of different colored tags.”
Carrie enlisted the help of the Grants Pass police department. A Grants Pass police investigator confirmed to CBSLA that a criminal investigation is underway. By email, a Portland police investigator informed CBSLA that he is attempting to contact the FBI or the US Department of Transportation.
“And I typically can identify a fraud a mile away, but I didn’t,” Carrie Clark said. “And then there’s the guilt and the sense that it’s all my fault.” It’s simply been really challenging.”
A Portland police investigator is attempting to assist clients in retrieving their possessions from Oregon storage facilities. East Freight is renting numerous storage containers at a location in Victorville, which CBSLA was able to locate. Most are past due, which means that people’s things may be auctioned off.
Many others have been forced to go to California and Oregon to recover their stuff. Nobody has been able to get the movers to return their money. East Freight Logistics and the brokers that hired them, notably Gold Standard, are also the subject of a civil inquiry by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration.
When CBSLA contacted East Freight Logistics, a lady claiming to be the owner said the company was licensed to conduct business in California, which CBSLA found was not the case.
She also said that she would take care of the cases that Lazar had assigned to her. Lazar, on the other hand, never received a response.
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Meanwhile, Gold Standard has not replied to any more requests for comment.
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