(WSVN) - We now have an update to a 7News investigation. The State of Florida is now cracking down on a company that customers say made some very bad moves. Investigative reporter Kevin Ozebek is at the newsdesk with the new developments.
The 7 Investigates team exposed an alleged moving scam last year.
Now, Florida is filing suit to shut it down.
In this 65-page lawsuit, the Florida attorney general says a South Florida-based moving broker promised a smooth relocation to paradise, but instead it provided headaches and broken promises.
This is Christina Treppendahl now.
Christina Treppendahl, used moving broker: “I am ecstatic, yes, I am ecstatic, yes.”
But when we first met her in 2021 after she hired Gold Standard Moving and Storage, LLC for a move from Mississippi to Aventura, she was livid.
Christina Treppendahl: “I haven’t even had time to cry yet. I haven’t slept or eaten in a week. I’ve just been– When you’re chasing people, and you’re angry, you don’t have time to have a tear.”
The Lauderhill-based company gave her a moving estimate of $6,688.72, but Christina says the movers who came were from a totally different company and demanded more money.
In the end, her move actually cost $13,776.
Christina Treppendahl: “He goes through the house and says, ‘Now, your contract with this company, that was just an estimate. At the end of the day, I’m going to tell you how much it is.’ I was like, ‘hmmm.'”
And she says her belongings arrived weeks later on a different truck by a third company.
The 7 Investigates team heard similar stories from dozens of others who used the company, like David Pasternack.
Many items he owned were destroyed during his move.
David Pasternack, used moving broker, Aug. 2021: “I am really upset. I want to cry.”
And the relocation was way over budget.
David Pasternack: “They now told me the $11,900 move was now $25,400. I almost fainted.”
As we started looking into Gold Standard Moving and Storage, Florida Attorney General Ashley Moody launched an investigation.
Ashley Moody: “We are actively looking at this right now.”
Kevin Ozebek: “So there is an active investigation underway right now?”
Now, two years of investigating later, the attorney general says 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.”
The attorney general accuses Gold Standard Moving and Storage of not being upfront that it is a moving broker that uses third party movers.
Kevin Ozebek: “Before dealing with this company, did you have any idea there was a difference between a moving broker in a moving company?”
Christina: “No, they don’t say anything about a moving broker. They hid that.”
While 7 investigates told the stories of some of those who felt ripped off, the attorney general says more than 400 Floridians were deceived by the company and companies connected to it.
Kevin: “Is there a sense of justice today?
Christina Treppendahl: “Not yet. I think the justice will come when we actually see them in court and if there’s any payout.”
And we did try to reach out to Gold Standard Moving and Storage, Thursday.
All we heard was busy signal when we called and our emails bounced back.
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