The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration said Nov. 26 that its Moving Fraud Task Force shut down five household goods moving companies in Florida, South Carolina and Maryland for holding customer shipments hostage and failing to turn over records related to their investigations. The five movers losing their authority were:

  • Allegiant Van Lines, Inc. (USDOT No. 1712687), Davie, Fla.;
  • Northern Van Lines, Inc. (USDOT No. 1147457), Cooper City, Fla.;
  • Northeastern Vanlines, Inc. (USDOT No. 1212003), Pembroke Pines, Fla.;
  • United West Moving and Storage, Inc. (USDOT No. 1827150), Anderson, S.C.; and
  • Direct Movers, Inc. (USDOT No. 1666092), Pikesville, Md.

The task force had investigated Allegiant in response to complaints that it had illegally held customers’ possessions hostage. Allegiant failed to respond to federal orders charging it with that activity and has been suspended from operations for at least one year. FMCSA also has fined Allegiant more than $88,000 for safety and commercial violations. 

During the investigation, FMCSA discovered that Allegiant’s owner also operated Northern, Northeastern and United West, which together have been the target of more than 100 complaints. Those carriers also have been suspended for at least a year and fined more than $31,000 in total.

Direct Movers, Inc. was shut down and its DOT number deactivated for failing to comply with an FMCSA demand for records involving a shipment allegedly being held hostage.

FMCSA established the Moving Fraud Task Force in 2012 to investigate household goods moving companies with numerous complaints.