MANDEVILLE, La. - The owner of a Metairie-based moving company that was under investigation for extortion was arrested, according to the Mandeville Police Department.
Dunwoodie McDuffie, 45, was behind bars on Wednesday morning and police expected to make more arrests in the case. He was booked with extortion and unauthorized use of a moveable.
The alleged victim in the case said the company was withholding her possessions in exchange for a grossly inflated bill. The victim reported that her previous quote of approximately $700 was raised to over $2000 without any justification and only after the movers secured her property on their truck, police said.
Mr. Move has been hiding her property at a storage unit on the southshore since taking it from her home in Mandeville, the victim said.
A review of the facts and an extensive background investigation led detectives to deem the incident criminal in nature as opposed to a civil dispute over a bill for services. Mandeville police conducted a search-and-seizure operation at the Mr. Move office Monday.
Police took computers and files during the raid of the rented office on Airline Highway. McDuffie was out of town, but his attorney, who was present, declined comment.
McDuffie was in custody at the St Tammany Parish Jail. Extortion carries a penalty of one to 15 years. Unauthorized use of a movable carries a five year maximum penalty.
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.