May 29, 2003
Media Contact: PUC Press Office, 415.703.1366, firstname.lastname@example.org
PUC INVESTIGATION LEADS TO CRIMINAL
CHARGES AGAINST ILLEGAL MOVER
The California Public Utilities Commission (PUC) today announced that the Los Angeles City Attorney's Office late last week filed criminal charges against an unlicensed household goods mover based in Sylmar. An investigation by the PUC's Consumer Protection and Safety Division determined that David Suffrin, owner of Nation Wide Moving, Inc., continued to perform moving services after his PUC household goods carrier permit was revoked in February 2001. The investigation also uncovered violations of PUC consumer protection rules that movers are required to follow.
The Los Angeles City Attorney has charged David Suffrin and Nation Wide Moving, Inc. with one count of grand theft; one count of operating a moving company without a permit; one count of operating a moving company with a revoked permit; one count of advertising as a moving company without a permit; and five counts of failing to follow rules and regulations for the performance of services by a moving company. Suffrin faces a maximum penalty of one year in jail and/or $1,000 fine for the grand theft charge and 90 days in jail for each of the remaining violations. In addition, the advertising violation carries a maximum penalty of $1,000 fine. Arraignment is scheduled for June 4 in Division 81 of Superior Court.
The Public Utilities Code makes it a crime to engage or attempt to engage in transporting used household goods without a valid PUC license. Consumers using unlicensed movers may suffer irreparable losses of personal belongings with little means of recovery. In its ongoing efforts to clamp down on illegal moving companies, the PUC submitted the results of its investigation to the Los Angeles City Attorney's Office and requested that a criminal complaint be filed against David Suffrin.