TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) — Florida Attorney General Ashley Moody announced the end of a “massive moving scam” by Gold Standard Moving and Storage. According to court records provided by state officials, the company is accused of violating state and federal law “since at least 2019.”
The court records describe actions taken by 10 companies and three individuals, who face allegations of operating “a number of moving brokerage companies” and marketing themselves to customers as movers, when instead “they are mere brokers that do not conduct moves.”
Moody’s office said since April 2020, if not earlier, the defendants have operated Gold Standard Enterprise as a common brokerage, using deceptive marketing to get big deposits and promise moves nationwide, door-to-door service, and low costs.
The record states that “in most instances, the movers who ultimately pick up consumers’ goods do not perform services that reflect the representations” advertised and communicated by Gold Standard Enterprise.
“The defendants promised top-quality moving services, but instead provided shoddy work, higher-than-advertised prices and loads of headaches for people simply trying to relocate,” Moody wrote in a statement. “We are taking legal action to shut down this moving scam and recover funds for the hundreds of consumers harmed by this company’s deceptive practices.”
Gold Standard allegedly operated under multiple business names “to dodge bad reviews.” Their third-party contractors “often tried to negotiate new prices” despite signed contracts agreed to by their customers.
In total, Moody’s office said the “common enterprise to deceive” involved more than 400 Floridians who were misled by Gold Standard and were promised refunds if moving services they provided “went wrong,” then “hired third parties to complete the moving services at subpar quality” while refusing the promised refunds.
Gold Standard’s operation included the following businesses, named by the Attorney General’s office as “corporate defendants.”
- United American Moving LLC
- Razor Van Lines LLC
- US Pro Moving and Logistics LLC
- Gold Standard Moving and Storage LLC
- Executive Van Lines LLC
- National American Van Lines LLC
- Imperial Moving Group LLC d/b/a Simple Path Moving
- Spartan Moving and Storage LLC
- Southeast Holding LLC
- Southeast Holdings LLC
Additionally, three individuals were named in the lawsuit, being Charles Gordon Abrams, Daniel J. Metz, and Rudolph Logan Rice.
Defendants are “subject to civil penalties” for violating state laws to the amount of $10,000 for each violation of Section 501.2075, Florida Statutes, plus $15,000 for each violation of Section 501.2077, Florida Statutes.
Should the AG’s lawsuit end in victory, Moody is requesting the defendants be enjoined to never again participate in directly or indirectly owning, controlling, participating in, assisting with, or receiving benefits from any business, organization, or individual that provides household goods moving services, or household goods brokerages in the state of Florida.