MIAMI — A Florida moving company has been found liable in deceptive practices and ordered to pay more than $21 million.
Seventeenth Judicial Circuit in Broward County, Florida, entered a final judgment on May 20 as to liability and an order of permanent injunction against All USA Van Lines (d/b/a Top Movers Inc.) and its owner Ohad Guzi.
The judgment totaled $21,789,306, including about $5.28 million in restitution imposed under Florida’s Deceptive and Unfair Trade Practices Act, and $16.5 million in civil penalties.
The ruling arose from civil complaints the Florida Attorney General’s Office filed in December 2018 against seven individuals and 19 household goods moving companies or their affiliated entities.
The moving companies were all located in Broward and Dade Counties.
The complaints alleged that the companies conducted deceptive moving practices by using false or deceptive advertising practices or offering low-price, purportedly binding estimates to entice customers to purchase their services. They then took custody of people’s belongings, raised prices, and forced customers to pay the inflated prices before releasing the goods.
The companies also claimed that highly trained professional or expert movers would perform the services; however, untrained laborers regularly performed the moves, often damaging, destroying or stealing the customers’ property.
Department of Transportation-Office of Inspector General conducted this investigation with the Consumer Protection Division of the Florida Attorney General’s Office.
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