MANDEVILLE, La. -- Northshore authorities are investigating a Metairie-based moving company Monday night.
Mandeville police conducted a search-and-seizure operation at the Mr. Move office Monday, tied to a possible extortion case. The alleged victim in the case says the company has been hiding her property at a storage unit on the southshore since taking it from her home in Mandeville.
“I went to pay them the hourly rate, they gave me this bogus, out-there number of over $2,000 when it was supposed to be $750," Megan Bagley said. "We were kind of caught off-guard and that's when they locked up the truck and said you either pay this amount or you're not going to see your stuff anymore."
Mandeville police took computers and files during the raid of the rented office on Airline Highway as part of an investigation into possible extortion and unauthorized use of a moveable charges. The owner of the business was out of town, but their attorney, who was present, declined comment.
"Looked at the contract, looked at some of the other things going on with this company, we made the determination, after reviewing everything and getting with legal counsel that this bordered on criminal," said Mandeville Police Lt. Gerald Sticker.
The Mandeville case isn't the only one. At the Better Business Bureau, there have been more than 50 complaints against Mr. Move in the past three years. The attorney general's office has also received 20 complaints about the company since 2007. The BBB currently rates Mr. Move with a D-minus, even though all but two of the claims have been resolved.
"We've had complaints about billing where they state that they're going to charge a price and it's very, very high, escalated, after the move is over, and if the individual doesn't want to pay in cash, the highest amount, they have actually held furniture hostage," said Cynthia Albert, with the BBB in New Orleans.
For Bagley, she's glad to have this resolution, but knows she's lucky.
"I'm glad they're finally putting an end to it because there's a lot of people who have fallen victim to this man and his bogus business," she said.
The attorney general's office wouldn't comment on the investigation, but Mandeville Police say their probe is ongoing and they do expect arrests in this case.
If you've had a similar experience with Mr. Move, contact your local law enforcement agency, the Better Business Bureau and the state attorney general’s office.