State authorities nabbed 26 unlicensed moving companies during a four-day sting operation titled “Operation Mother’s Attic,” New Jersey Attorney General Gurbir Grewal announced Monday.
April’s sting operation involved investigators from the Office of Consumer Protection posing as customers looking to move luxury items out of a Montville home.
The investigators found ads from unlicensed moving companies, who in turn drove to the Montville home where they were issued violations notices by the OCP, New Jersey State Police Mobile Safety Freight Unit and the U.S. Department of Transportation Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration.
“An unlicensed moving company can be a homeowner’s worst nightmare,” Grewal said in a prepared statement. “They’ve been known to hold truckloads of property hostage until the customer pays an extortionate fee. And these unlicensed movers often don’t carry adequate insurance, creating the risk that homeowners will be left high and dry if their property is seriously damaged during the move.”
State police found 29 motor vehicle violations, five of them serious enough to put the vehicles immediately out of service, Grewal said. Three drivers were barred from driving the trucks away because of these violations, including either the lack of a valid driver’s license or the proper license, Grewal said.
Authorities also issued three violations to companies over false advertising. The Bayonne-based Admiral Van Lines falsely advertised itself as “Hoboken Movers,” and the Hawthorne-based “All Pro Moving” falsely advertised itself as “NJ Local Moving” and “One & Only Moving,” Grewal said.
A third company, Union City-based Direct Movers, failed to include its license number in its advertisement, according to Grewal.
The violations notices issued were $2,500 each, Grewal said, with each mover able to lower the penalty to $1,250 if they obtained a license within 30 days of receiving the violations notice.
It’s not immediately clear how many of the moving companies applied for the license and paid the reduced penalty.
Movers from New Jersey cited for operating without a license were: Alpha Moving Services, Highland Lakes; Affordable & Assertive Moving & Storage, Pompton Lakes; Avelar Trucking, Landing; Bin It NJ, North Bergen; Consider It Done, Toms River; Cruz Moves, Cinnaminson; GDK Logistics aka GDK International, Fairfield; H&D Transportation, Clifton; Helping Hands Moving, Newark; I.D. Nobile Movers, aka Nobile ID Movers, Hackensack; J&L Moving, Hillside; Moving Good, Little Ferry; Moving Hero, Rahway; Mundanzas, Dover; Old Country Van Lines, East Newark; Rent A Helping Hand, Pennington; Roadway Moving, Elizabeth; Round City Moving, Garfield; Rosie’s Master Movers, Cherry Hill; and We Move You, Maywood.
Others based outside the state that were cited include Big Men In Trucks, Sloatsburg, N.Y.; ½ Price Movers, Staten Island; Centurion Movers, Willow Grove Pa.; Lite Moving, Franklin Square, N.Y.; TB Moving aka TB Moving & Storage, Brooklyn, N.Y.; and Princeton Movers aka Great Eastern Movers, Brooklyn, N.Y.