Today Attorney Susan Chana Lask filed a Federal Class Action RICO complaint seeking $5 Mil in damages and injunctions against numerous interstate movers victimizing consumers nationwide during the Covid pandemic.
The case is Stephanie Wagner v. New Era Relocation LLC, Moving Solutions LLC, Gold Standard Relocation, et al #21-cv-07092, in the Eastern District of New York. See Complaint at 12-23-21 Wagner v New Era et al RICO Complaint.
Wagner’s complaint alleges violations of consumer fraud laws, the Federal Carmack Amendment and 18 USC §1962 criminal RICO violations in that Defendants New Era, Gold Standard and other corporate and individual defendants operate a Moving Enterprise using interstate wires, including the internet, emails and Zelle, where Gold Standard solicits consumers to pay them thousands of dollars under a federal Binding Estimate, but once they load the property on their trucks they next demand thousands more by illegally claiming the property exceeds the estimated footage. Next, Defendants hold the property hostage for cash ransoms of thousands more or sell it for their own profit.
The complaint says Stephanie Wagner paid thousands of dollars in December 2020 for Gold Standard to move her entire life’s personal and business property from New York to North Carolina, with six months storage.
After loading her property, Defendants demanded thousands more by claiming it took up more space than their Binding Estimate stated.
By September, 2021, defendants told Wagner they lost all of her property.
Florida corporate fictitious name filings, signed by Defendant Margaret Drayton, show defendants are all connected and open under different names once the USDOT and BBB receive complaints about their thefts and frauds, the complaint says.
“I’m sickened that my childhood pictures, awards, clothes and personal documents are all gone–my entire life is stolen by bad actors licensed by the USDOT that knows hundreds of complaints exist about them,” says Stephanie Wagner.
As of October, 2021 there were 233 complaints of thefts and frauds against GOLD STANDARD and 21 against New Era, the complaint says (https://www.bbb.org/us/fl/fort-lauderdale/profile/moving-brokers/gold-standard-relocation-0633-90582863 and https://www.bbb.org/us/nc/ smithfield/ profile/movers/new-era-relocation-0593-90326232 ).
Attorney Lask previously obtained a federal injunction in the Eastern District of New York against the same Defendants for her client, Judge Jeffrey Spinner (ret’d), in Spinner v. New Era et al, 20-cv-06288, after Judge Spinner was extorted by the same Defendants in December 2020. Click here to read about Spinner.
Spinner’s complaint lead to the USDOT revoking New Era’s license that month.
“This complaint seeks injunctive relief from the court to stop these malicious movers from victimizing and destroying other consumers’ lives, and seeks to change USDOT laws that presently make it easy for bad actors to open illegitimate moving businesses, which hopefully such bad actors will be criminally prosecuted,” says Lask.
Indeed, on December 20, 2021, the New Jersey U.S. Attorney arrested a group of interstate movers for the same racket as alleged in this complaint.
Click here to see the USDOJ press release ( https://www.justice.gov/usao-nj/pr/three-passaic-county-men-charged-scheme-defraud-moving-company-customers ).