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Feds: North Jersey Moving Companies Raised Prices, Held Items Hostage

The bookkeeper for several North Jersey moving companies was charged in a scheme that defrauded customers out of $2 million over almost five years.
The bookkeeper for several North Jersey moving companies was charged in a scheme that defrauded customers out of $2 million over almost five years. Photo Credit: Nicolas Huk FLICKR

The bookkeeper for several North Jersey moving companies was charged in a scheme that defrauded customers out of $2 million over almost five years, federal officials said.

Farah Al-Ibrahim, 38 of Essex County, was charged with one count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud before being released on a $100,000 bond, the U.S. Attorney's Office for New Jersey said.

Al-Ibrahim handled companies with offices in Clifton and Moonachie, which quoted customers "low-ball" price estimates for moves then raised them significantly -- sometimes up to 400 percent -- on the day of.

Such was done after items were loaded and customers were subject to the demands of Al-Ibraham and her colleagues, who according to court papers reasoned that the customer had more items than initially stated, NJ.com reports.

When customers refused to pay, the companies said the items would be held in storage with fees until it was paid -- essentially holding the items hostage.

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