ROXBURY, NJ – A Roxbury moving company was one of 29 named today by the state as the target of an undercover sting operation into unlicensed movers.
The company, Avelar Trucking & Moving of Landing, describes itself online as being “fully insured and licensed.” However, state Attorney General Gurbir Grewal and the state Division of Consumer Affairs (DCA) said Avelar and the others caught in the April investigation did not have a license.
The companies named in “Operation Mother’s Attic” were issued notices of violation (NOVs) and fined $2,500 each, said the statement.
Avelar did not immediately return a message seeking comment.
DCA investigators “posed as individuals planning to move from an upscale neighborhood in Montville,” said the statement. “The investigators found various unlicensed moving companies advertising online and hired them for their ‘move.’”
According to the state, representatives of the contacted companies “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.”
The state said members of the state police Mobile Safety Freight Unit were also awaiting the movers and performed vehicle safety inspections on their trucks. Additionally, members of the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (“FMCSA”) checked for verification that out-of-state movers were registered with the FMCSA to engage in interstate operations, said the statement.
A 'Proactive Effort' to Protect Consumers
“An unlicensed moving company can be a homeowner’s worst nightmare,” said Grewal in the 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. That’s why we regulate the industry – and why we crack down on rogue operators.”
Acting DCA Director Paul Rodriguez said the sting was “a proactive effort to identify and weed out movers doing business outside the division’s oversight. He said the state was “protecting consumers against fraud and other risks.”
The statement explained that all companies performing residential moves that begin and end in New Jersey must be licensed by the DCA and must “observe the statutes and regulations concerning the storage and transportation of household goods.”
It said the law requires movers to maintain cargo liability insurance, workers' compensation insurance and bodily injury and property damage insurance. Additionally, movers must provide the DCA with proof of vehicle registration and insurance coverage, and their trucks must display their license numbers.
“Movers also must provide consumers with a written estimate of the costs of the move,” noted the state, adding there are about 320 licensed public movers in New Jersey.
In addition to Avelar, the named movers are:
- ½ PRICE MOVERS, Staten Island, NY
- ALPHA MOVNG SERVICES , Highland Lakes
- AFFORDABLE & ASSERTIVE MOVING & STORAGE, Pompton Lakes
- BIN IT NJ, North Bergen
- CENTURION MOVERS, Willow Grove, PA
- CONSIDER IT DONE, Toms River
- CRUZ MOVES, Cinnaminson
- ENTERPRISE VAN LINES, Congers, NY
- GDK LOGISTICS a/k/a GDK INTERNATIONAL, Fairfield
- H & D TRANSPORTATION, Clifton
- HELPING HANDS MOVING, Newark
- I.D. NOBLE MOVERS a/k/a NOBLE ID MOVERS, Hackensack
- IMPERIAL MOVING & STORAGE a/k/a LION’S DEN ENTERPRISES, a/k/a INSIGNIA MOVING, New York, NY
- J & L MOVING, Hillside
- LITE MOVING, Franklin Square, NY
- MOVING GOOD, Little Ferry
- MOVING HERO, Rahway
- OLD COUNTRY VAN LINES, East Newark
- PRINCETON MOVERS a/k/a GREAT EASTERN MOVERS, Brooklyn, NY
- RENT A HELPING HAND, Pennington
- MUNDANZAS, Dover
- ROADWAY MOVING, Elizabeth
- ROUND CITY MOVING, Garfield
- ROSIE’S MASTER MOVERS, Cherry Hill
- TB MOVING a/k/a TB MOVING & STORAGE, Brooklyn, NY
- WE MOVE YOU, Maywood
- BIG MEN IN TRUCKS, Sloatsburg, NY
The state said each of the cited movers “has the option of seeking mitigation or requesting an administrative hearing to contest the violation notice and civil penalty.
The $2,500 penalty will be reduced to $1,250 for any mover that applies for a license within 30 days of receiving the violation notice, added the state.
The state police inspection found 29 motor vehicle violations, “five of them serious enough to put the vehicles out of service,” said the state. “Three drivers were prohibited from driving trucks away from the scene because of motor vehicle violations, including not having a valid driver’s license or not having a proper license,” it added. “Two people were placed under arrest for outstanding warrants, and one person was arrested for possession of under 50 grams of marijuana.”