ABC27 investigates moving scam

SHIPPENSBURG, Pa. (WHTM) – Joseph Brett didn’t think he would spend his retirement in a legal battle with a moving company.

He first shared his story with ABC27 in 2015.

Brett moved from New York to Shippensburg in 2012. He hired Jet Moving Company, which he says turned out to be a bad move.

“I was actually being held hostage by these people; either you pay up or we are not giving you back your furniture,” he said.

Brett says once the movers got his furniture on the truck, their price went up.

“I wound up paying over $4,000 and the original quote was around $1,200,” he said.

He took Jet Moving to court and won, but getting his money back and tracking down the people involved hasn’t been easy.

“We have tracked accounts to banks in Virginia. Unfortunately, those accounts are closed. We sent constables to their registered corporate address in Center Valley, which was just an empty building,” Shawn Stottlemyer, Brett’s attorney, said.

“I called DOT because this is under their umbrella, no response. I called the Better Business Bureau, they were of no help,” Brett said.

After Brett’s story aired on ABC27 last year, there seemed to be some progress.

“After the story ran, we heard from a special prosecutor from the U.S. Department of Transportation who stated that he was aware of the case,” Stottlemyer said.

“We were told that they know where these people are, they are working on the case diligently, and they are closing in on them,” Brett said.

It seemed promising, but a year passed with no update.

“Nothing has moved forward on the case whatsoever,” Stottlemyer said.

“When we discussed this a year ago, I said I didn’t want to see any further people getting hurt, and sure enough, the saga continues,” Brett said.

A Cumberland County judge ordered Jet Moving to pay Brett thousands of dollars. When the owners, Pricilla and Charles Goico, were a no-show in court, warrants were issued for their arrest.

“We are not sure exactly where these people are based, although it looks like the New York, New Jersey area,” Stottlemyer said.

In order to get some answers, ABC27 In Your Corner reporter Kendra Nichols hit the road, gathering all of the addresses connected to Jet Moving and Pricilla and Charles Goico.

The first stop was at a business address in Center Valley, Pennsylvania. ABC27 found an office for Jet Moving; it was basically empty with just a desk and phone. No one with Jet Moving was there.

Nichols spoke with the woman at the front desk of the multi-office complex. She said the owner of Jet Moving was a man named Max Beras who still shows up at the office from time to time for appointments.

The next stop was a business address in Allentown, which turned out to be a UPS Store.

From there, Nichols traveled to a Moonachie, New Jersey address Jet Moving used for their FMCSA motor carrier license. Again, ABC27 found an empty office. Nichols tracked down the owner of the building who said the U.S. Department of Transportation raided Jet Moving’s office last year, took all of their computers, and shut them down.

Nichols spoke with Max Beras on the phone. He said Jet Moving was no longer in operation. When asked about the federal investigation, Beras said he “could not talk about it.”

ABC27’s investigation revealed the company was also operating under several different names including Jet Relocation, Horizon Moving, and Global Relocation. Nichols obtained several additional names, phone numbers, and addresses connected to the company, which were passed on to Brett and his attorney.

“Thank you, because we were just in a holding pattern here for the longest time. I appreciate it,” Brett said.

Online Resources:

Filing complaints with the PUC

Current licenses Household Goods Operators (as of July 1, 2016):

Tips about using moving companies

– US DOT tips for consumers

Look up Motor Carrier License

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