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California Public Utilities Commission
505 Van Ness Ave., San Francisco
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE PRESS RELEASE
Media Contact: Terrie Prosper, 415.703.1366, firstname.lastname@example.org
CPUC INVESTIGATIONS RESULT IN ENFORCEMENT ACTIONS AND FINES IMPOSED ON VARIOUS MOVING COMPANIES
SAN FRANCISCO, February 3, 2010 - The California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC), in its ongoing commitment to consumer protection, has recently taken a number of actions to protect consumers from illegally operating moving companies.
During the fourth quarter of 2009, CPUC staff took the following enforcement actions against moving companies for violations of the Public Utilities Code and CPUC rules and regulations, including Maximum Rate Tariff 4 (MAX 4), which contains maximum rates that carriers must observe as well as rules and regulations governing intrastate moves.
Six companies were cited and fined (totaling $7,500) for one or more of the violations listed below.
1. Engaged employees without evidence of workers' compensation insurance on file
2. Failed to follow the application of rates and observance of units and measurements
3. Failed to issue and/or properly complete the "Important Notice About Your Move" document to shippers
4. Failed to issue the "Important Information for Persons Moving Household Goods Booklet" to shippers
5. Failed to issue written estimate after visual inspection
6. Failed to produce requested records
7. Incomplete Combined Agreements for Moving Services and Freight Bills
8. Operated and advertised without a valid permit (unlicensed, prior to issuance, after suspension and revocation)
9. Operated without evidence of cargo insurance in effect and on file
1. Dennis Eugene Brown, Dennis' Hauling and Moving, Acampo (Unlicensed)
2. Dien Le and Giau Le dba Giau Moving, Westminster (MTR 190662-Pending)
3. Franco William Vega dba Citywide Moving, Toluca Lake (MTR 189305)
4. Michael Horgan dba Mikey Moves 4 U, Anaheim (Unlicensed)
5. Miguel A. Laines, ML Movers, Redwood City (MTR 190627)
6. Richard Danielson dba Sunshine Boys Moving, Los Angeles (MTR 190472)
In its ongoing efforts to clamp down on illegal moving companies, the CPUC had telephone service shut off to five moving companies operating in California without a household goods permit. These companies continue to advertise and hold themselves out to engage in the business of transporting used household goods, notwithstanding CPUC staff directives to immediately cease and desist unlawful acts and to obtain a household goods permit.
1. Shane McMahon d/b/a McMahon Professional Moving (Unlicensed). Carrier advertised his unlicensed moving business on the Internet. Advertisements listed two phone numbers and represented to the public that the company has over eight years of experience from working with other moving companies. Carrier also uses other trade names including McMahon The Moving Professionals and/or Chief Packers. Carrier continued to violate the law as evidenced by sting calls. On October 15, 2009, CPUC staff obtained a Finding of Probable Cause signed by Alameda County Superior Court Judge Kimberly M. Briggs. The order finds that telephone service at the two numbers was being used to violate criminal laws in the State of California.
2. Mike Tullock dba Mike and The Movers (MTR 189263-Revoked). Carrier previously held a permit as a corporation (Dublin Worldwide Moving and Storage Corporation); however, the permit was revoked on May 29, 2008, for failure to pay quarterly revenue fees. Carrier continued to advertise his unlicensed moving business on the Internet at 11 different websites. The advertisements offered household, corporate, and commercial moves. Carrier offered to provide moving services as evidenced by sting calls and online quote obtained by CPUC staff. On October 27, 2009, CPUC staff obtained a Finding of Probable Cause signed by Alameda County Superior Court Judge Yolanda Northridge. The order finds that telephone service at all three numbers were being used to violate criminal laws in the State of California.
3. Ohad Ben Shushan d/b/a/ Express Moving Network, Inc. (Unlicensed). Mr. Shushan was denied a permit on May 28, 2009, as he failed to provide the documentation to show that he is permitted by law to own and operate a business. Mr. Shushan continued to advertise his unlicensed moving business on a website, offering household, corporate, commercial, and long-distance moves as well as storage services. The website provides tips about moving, packing, and storage and allows a consumer to obtain an online quote for a potential move as well as purchase moving boxes and packing supplies. Carrier uses the trade names Best Moving Van Lines and Express Moving Network. Carrier continued to offer moving services as evidenced by sting calls and moving quotes obtained by CPUC staff. Phone records obtained showed that Continental Express Inc. (MTR 190272) and Asaf Oved (president) as the subscriber to the numbers advertised by Mr. Shushan. The CPUC staff investigation also disclosed that Mr. Shushan and Mr. Oved performed their moving operations from the same business location in Fremont and shared the same computer network. On October 29, 2009, CPUC staff obtained a Finding of Probable Cause signed by Alameda County Superior Court Judge Vernon Nakahara. The order finds that telephone service at three numbers was being used to violate criminal laws in the State of California.
4. Ernesto Galacia dba Ernesto's Fletes y Mudanzas, National City (Unlicensed). Carrier advertised his unlicensed moving business in the February 2009 edition of the San Diego/San Diego North Spanish Yellow pages. The full-page advertisement offered moving services and listed one phone number. On October 30, 2009, CPUC staff obtained a Finding of Probable Cause signed by San Diego Superior Court Judge Robert Coates. The order finds that telephone service at one number was being used to violate criminal laws in the State of California.
5. Georgious Paitaris dba San Diego Moving Assistance, San Diego (Unlicensed). Carrier advertised his unlicensed moving business on his website. The website offers moving services in the San Diego area and listed one phone number. On November 30, 2009, CPUC staff obtained a Finding of Probable Cause signed by San Diego Superior Court Judge John Einhorn. The order finds that telephone service at one telephone number was being used to violate criminal laws in the State of California.
CPUC staff investigations of unlicensed operations resulted in one moving company being charged criminally for violating the CPUC's rules and regulations. CPUC staff submitted its report to the Los Angeles City Attorney's office requesting a criminal complaint be filed against:
1. Zakaria Saakian, Los Angeles (Unlicensed) - Complaint #9CA01279 - Carrier was charged with 10 counts of violating various provisions of the Public Utilities Code, and CPUC's MAX 4 Tariff including but not limited to operating and advertising without CPUC authority, failing to comply with CPUC order, decision, rule and regulations, failing to provide Important Information For Persons Moving Household Goods booklet prior to loading, failing to include a Not To Exceed Price on shipping documents, failing to show name and address used by carrier on shipping documents, failing to obtain signature of shipper on moving documents, and failing to issue shipping document to shipper when charges collected. Carrier and his attorney appeared and arraignment was continued to January 12, 2010.
Three companies were issued Official Notice for one or more of these violations:
1. Engaged employees without evidence of worker's compensation insurance
2. Failed to include Cal T-number in advertisements
3. Failed to issue "Important Notice About Your Move" document
4. Failed to maintain records or incomplete documentation (no physical address)
5. Operated and/or advertised prior to issuance of a permit
1. Remington Movers LLC, Los Angeles (MTR 190520)
2. Joe Kaaekuahiwi dba Big Island Movers, Modesto (MTR 190630)
3. ORI Van Lines, San Jose (MTR 190576)
Cease and Desist Notice
Nineteen companies were issued cease and desist notices for operating and advertising without a valid permit or engaging workers without evidence of workers' compensation insurance coverage.
Companies cited were:
1. Artist Moving & Hauling, San Francisco (Unlicensed)
2. Brendan O'Halloran dba South Bay Moving Services, San Jose (Unlicensed)
3. Budget Express Moving, Lancaster (Unlicensed)
4. Francisco Alvarez, Jesus Pantoja and Mario Estrada dba The Roosters Moving, San Jose (Unlicensed)
5. Gary Alvarez dba Express Piano Moving & Transport, Long Beach (Unlicensed)
6. Giau Le dba Giau Moving, Westminter (MTR 190662-Pending)
7. Hong Li dba 168 Moving Co., San Francisco (MTR 190651-Pending)
8. Lili Xu and Tianming Zhang, Fasttran Moving Co., San Jose (MTR 189665-Revoked)
9. Micro Moves, Eagle Rock (Unlicensed)
10. Movers 4 Me, Los Angeles (Unlicensed)
11. Real Rock N Roll Movers, Los Angeles (Unlicensed)
12. Sang Thanh Le dba MCC Moving Corp., San Jose (Unlicensed)
13. SM & S Relocation, Inc. dba SM & S Relocation, San Jose (MTR 190474)
14. Storage and Relocation, Inc., Sun Valley (Unlicensed)
15. Toney T. McBride, dba Rapid Movers, Lancaster (MTR 190223-Revoked)
16. Tony Amaral dba Tony's Affordable Moving Service, San Francisco (Unlicensed)
17. Tyson C. Mol dba All Care Moving Company, Santa Clara (MTR 189681)
18. Walter Vincent Winslow dba Vince's Moving Service, Rancho Cordova (MTR 188944-Revoked and MTR 189879-Denied)
19. Zip 2 Zip Transfer & Storage Inc., dba American Best Moving, Van Nuys (MTR 190175)
For more information on the CPUC, please visit www.cpuc.ca.gov.