NEWARK – Attorney General Gurbir S. Grewal and the Division of Consumer Affairs today announced that 29 unlicensed movers have been issued Notices of Violation (“NOVs”) as a result of “Operation Mother’s Attic, a State-led undercover sting targeting public movers suspected of operating without licenses. Each unlicensed mover was also assessed a $2,500 civil penalty,
The sting operation occurred over the course of four days in April 2018. Investigators from the Division’s Office of Consumer Protection (“OCP”) posed as individuals planning to move from an upscale neighborhood in Montville. The investigators found various unlicensed moving companies advertising online and hired them for their “move.” The movers drove to Montville, expecting to find a luxury home full of items to load, and were instead met by a team of OCP investigators, who issued them NOVs for operating without licenses.
Also awaiting the movers were members of the State Police’s Mobile Safety Freight Unit, who conducted vehicle safety inspections on their trucks, and members of the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (“FMCSA”), who checked for verification that out-of-state movers were registered with the FMCSA to engage in interstate operations.
One out-of-state moving company cited in the last Operation Mother’s Attic sting in 2016 was among the unlicensed movers caught this year. Go To Moving & Storage of Staten Island, New York was cited as a second-time offender and assessed an enhanced civil penalty of $5,000.
“An unlicensed moving company can be a homeowner’s worst nightmare,” said Attorney General Grewal. “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. That’s why we regulate the industry – and why we crack down on rogue operators.”
“Operation Mother’s Attic is a proactive effort to identify and weed out movers doing business outside the Division’s oversight,” said Paul R. Rodríguez, Acting Director of the Division of Consumer Affairs. “By requiring movers to abide by our state’s public movers’ licensing laws, we are protecting consumers against fraud and other risks.”
State law requires all intrastate movers (those performing residential moves that both begin and end in New Jersey) to be licensed by the Division of Consumer Affairs and to observe the statutes and regulations concerning the storage and transportation of household goods. Those laws require movers to maintain cargo liability insurance, workers’ compensation insurance, and bodily injury and property damage insurance. Movers also must provide the Division with proof of vehicle registration and insurance coverage, and must include the mover’s license number on the outside of the vehicle, as required by State regulations. Movers also must provide consumers with a written estimate of the costs of the move. There are approximately 320 licensed public movers in New Jersey.
“Horror stories about predatory movers are all too common,” said “
The public movers cited for operating without a license are:
- ½ PRICE MOVERS, Staten Island, NY
- ALPHA MOVNG SERVICES , Highland Lakes, NJ
- AFFORDABLE & ASSERTIVE MOVING & STORAGE, Pompton Lakes, NJ
- AVELAR TRUCKING, Landing, NJ
- BIN IT NJ, North Bergen, NJ
- CENTURION MOVERS, Willow Grove, PA
- CONSIDER IT DONE, Toms River, NJ
- CRUZ MOVES, Cinnaminson, NJ
- ENTERPRISE VAN LINES, Congers, NY
- GDK LOGISTICS a/k/a GDK INTERNATIONAL, Fairfield, NJ
- H & D TRANSPORTATION, Clifton, NJ
- HELPING HANDS MOVING, Newark, NJ
- I.D. NOBLE MOVERS a/k/a NOBLE ID MOVERS, Hackensack, NJ
- IMPERIAL MOVING & STORAGE a/k/a LION’S DEN ENTERPRISES, a/k/a INSIGNIA MOVING, New York, NY
- J & L MOVING, Hillside, NJ
- LITE MOVING, Franklin Square, NY
- MOVING GOOD, Little Ferry, NJ
- MOVING HERO, Rahway, NJ
- OLD COUNTRY VAN LINES, East Newark, NJ
- PRINCETON MOVERS a/k/a GREAT EASTERN MOVERS, Brooklyn, NY
- RENT A HELPING HAND, Pennington, NJ
- MUNDANZAS, Dover, NJ
- ROADWAY MOVING, Elizabeth, NJ
- ROUND CITY MOVING, Garfield, NJ
- ROSIE’S MASTER MOVERS, Cherry Hill, NJ
- TB MOVING a/k/a TB MOVING & STORAGE, Brooklyn, NY
- WE MOVE YOU, Maywood, NJ
- BIG MEN IN TRUCKS, Sloatsburg, NY
Each mover has the option of seeking mitigation or requesting an administrative hearing to contest the NOV and civil penalty. The $2,500 civil penalty for unlicensed operation will be reduced to $1,250 for any mover that applies for licensure with the Division within 30 days of receiving the NOV.