May 30, 2024

businessweek

Taste For Business

South Florida moving broker hit with lifetime ban, huge fine

The chief of a huge South Florida-based mostly transferring broker community has been purchased out of the business enterprise permanently right after getting hit with a next multimillion-dollar fine inside 4 months.

Ohad Guzi, operator of eight largely Hollywood-based mostly shifting organizations, has been fined $21.7 million and requested out of the going enterprise completely subsequent a civil trial initiated by the Florida Lawyer General’s Business office.

The ruling followed a week-extensive demo in Broward County Circuit Court in April. Judge Carol-Lisa Phillips determined that Guzi engaged in quite a few deceptive tactics, including misrepresenting his businesses as entire-assistance movers with its possess vehicles and workers, failing to disclose planned use of storage services and 3rd-occasion firms, and offering low-ball estimates and then jacking up rates on the day of the transfer.

In January, Guzi was purchased to fork out $13 million following a individual trial in federal court that observed he applied the name Northstar Movers to deceive shoppers into believing they were executing company with California-primarily based NorthStar Going Organization.

According to complaints submitted in the latest case, Guzi’s business was also accused of:

  • Failing to produce customers’ merchandise on the agreed-on dates
  • Applying third-party transferring companies despite promising all get the job done would be finished by the companies’ possess employees
  • Utilizing unskilled, unqualified and untrained laborers
  • Employing rented trucks and working day laborers rather of the companies’ own vans and workers as promised
  • Reducing off conversation with buyers right after using possession of their items and securing about 70% of the volume due
  • Hiding identities of Guzi’s enterprises by use of interrelated firms and Department of Transportation registration numbers

The condition sued Guzi’s eight companies in December 2018, accusing them of violating Florida’s Deceptive and Unfair Trades Tactics Act, the Florida Relocating Act, the Interstate Transportation Code and Federal Motor Carrier Security Administration regulations.

Guzi, also known as Chad Cuzi, operated his organization in between 2009 and 2018 below the names All United states Van Strains LLC Best Movers, Inc. Going Team Inc. Guzi’s Investments Cross State Movers LLC, 24/7 Going Companies Inc., Transworld Movers Inc., and Emoving Organization, in accordance to paperwork filed by prosecutors in the situation.

People organizations did enterprise underneath various other names these types of as Nationwide Movers Procedure, Very affordable Movers and Dispatch My Move.

Principal places of work for most of the firms was a warehouse creating at 2346 Thomas Street in Hollywood.

Of the $21.7 million judgment, far more than $5 million will go to Guzi’s prospects as restitution. Guzi will have to also shell out $16.5 million in civil penalties.

“The court’s closing judgment from the defendants sends a distinct information that this style of misconduct in the transferring marketplace will not be tolerated,” a news launch from the Legal professional General’s Business mentioned this week.

Other agencies that participated in the case have been the Federal Motor Provider Safety Administration, the Business of Inspector Normal for the U.S. Division of Transportation, the Florida Office of Agriculture and Client Products and services and the Far better Organization Bureau.

The judgment towards Guzi is the latest in a string of victories by customers who submitted complaints towards South Florida-based shifting brokers who utilised world-wide-web internet sites and cell phone gross sales to encourage prospects of their legitimacy.

In April, the nationwide transit hauler Mayflower Transit LLC submitted a federal trademark infringement lawsuit against West Palm Seashore-based mostly Mayflower Relocation Expert services, LLC.

Earlier this month, Andrey Shuklin was sentenced to 78 months in prison just after pleading guilty to a racketeering demand in connection with a transferring fraud he ran with a associate out of an place of work in Hollywood.

Ron Hurtibise addresses business enterprise and consumer difficulties for the South Florida Sunlight Sentinel. He can be achieved by cell phone at 954-356-4071, on Twitter @ronhurtibise or by e mail at [email protected].