Moving company under criminal investigation after dozens of families lose their belongings – CBS Los Angeles


LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) – Moving company not licensed to operate in California is now under criminal investigation after dozens of clients inadvertently hire the company to transport their belongings across the country, only to find their items may be in storage and could be auctioned off.

What was meant to be a new chapter in their lives has turned into a never-ending nightmare for families who have lost furniture, clothing, and sentimental belongings that can never be replaced.

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In April, Maribel Moses and her boyfriend were looking for a moving company to move them from Los Angeles to Vermont, where Moses was starting his law school.

“Throughout this process you get a bunch of solicited phone calls, so I answered the phone, and it was a company called Gold Standard Moving and Storage,” Moses told Kristine Lazar of CBSLA.

When moving day arrived in July, the movers were three days late, and not what Moses expected.

“So they finally show up in an Enterprise rental truck,” said Moses.

Moses said that was when she learned that Gold Standard was a broker who hired East Freight Logistics to make the move. Maribel frantically researched East Freight and was struck by a litany of negative reviews. She says she tried to opt out, but Gold Standard told her it was too late to cancel without losing her $ 1,300 deposit.

“We were given the utmost assurance that our belongings would be delivered safely,” said Moses.

Moses’ contract provided for an estimate of 7 to 21 working days for delivery. However, as of September, her things still had not been delivered.

“Sometimes I would call and she would say, ‘We have a driver, he will be there in 6 days,'” said Moses. “Other times I would call and she would say, ‘Oh, just kidding, we don’t have a driver, we are looking for another driver.’ So it has tied us up all this time.

In October, Moses was distraught.

“We don’t have a sofa to sit on,” Moses said. “We don’t have pots and pans for cooking. My boyfriend had his childhood directories and family photos. I had jewelry that my grandmother had given me since I was a child.

Desperate for help, Moses stumbled upon a Facebook page called “East Freight Logistics Fraud”. She has learned that she is not alone. David and Brenda Smith, who moved from Victorville to Ohio in June, also suffered a similar fate.

“We didn’t appreciate anything because it’s our day to day life, trying to figure out where our stuff is,” said David Smith.

“My daughter was born at a pound,” Smith said. “We lost all of her hospital photos, her graduation photos. She has nothing to show her children.

Christy Clark moved to Florida in June. She also hired Gold Standard, unaware that they were just a broker. On the 80th day of waiting for her things to arrive, she says she called East Freight Logistics.

“My kid doesn’t have his stuff,” Clark said. “I don’t have any baby photos. The ashes of my husband’s grandparents are in there. I can’t believe you can be so heartless. And she told me I could wait another 10-14 days or I could go to California and get my things back.

She did, and when she arrived at the storage facility where her things were kept, Clark found out that the rent had not been paid, so her belongings were being put up for auction.

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“They suggested that I wait in Victorville and try to bid for my own business,” Clark said.

Clark called the local police and was able to collect his things. However, she saw other people’s belongings in the same storage unit.

“And that means there are people out there who will never get their stuff back, and it’s heartbreaking,” Clark said.

According to the California Department of Consumer Affairs, East Freight Logistics is not licensed to “move household goods” in California. This year alone, 93 complaints were filed with the US Department of Transportation. Most of them for not delivering goods.

Earlier this month, Gold Standard saw its brokerage authority revoked, meaning it is officially closed until it is reinstated.

Carrie Clark, unrelated to Christy, says she didn’t realize she hired a broker when she signed to Gold Standard.

“I had no idea they negotiated the move with anyone,” said Carrie Clark. “They never revealed that.”

“I called and called and called,” she added. “My number would be blocked. “

Carrie Clark was out of work, so researching East Freight became her obsession. This took her to a rented space inside a Salvation Army building in Grants Pass, Ore.

“I didn’t see any organization, and boxes and personal effects opened and reviewed,” said Carrie Clark. “I saw furniture and boxes piled up so high, unorganized. Lots of names of people, and they use these little tags to identify your business. Labels in different colors, all in stacks.

Carrie implicated the local Grants Pass police. A Grants Pass police detective confirmed to CBSLA that a criminal investigation was underway. A Portland Police Detective told CBSLA by email that he was trying to get a follow-up from the FBI or the US Department of Transportation.

“And I can usually spot a scam a mile and a half away and I didn’t,” Carrie Clark said. “And the regret and the feeling that it’s all my fault.” It was really difficult.

The Portland Police Detective tries to help customers recover their belongings from storage facilities in Oregon. CBSLA was able to locate several storage units at a facility in Victorville that are leased by East Freight. Most are past due, which means that people’s goods could end up at auction.

Many people had to travel to California and Oregon to collect their belongings. No one was able to be reimbursed by the movers. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration is also conducting a civil investigation into East Freight Logistics and the brokers who hired them, including Gold Standard.

When CBSLA contacted East Freight Logistics, a woman who identified as the owner claimed the company was licensed to do business in California, which CBSLA confirmed was not.

She also said she would resolve the cases Lazar sent her. However, Lazar never got a response.

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Gold Standard, meanwhile, did not respond to any further requests for comment.


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