Moving sales rep sentenced in household goods extortion scheme

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A Florida moving brokerage sales representative was sentenced after pleading guilty to theft from an interstate shipment for his role in a scheme involving fraudulent shipment of household goods, according to the U.S. Department of Transportation Inspector General’s Office.

Matthew D. Sandomir, former sales representative for Miami-based National Moving Network, was sentenced Nov. 26 in U.S. District Court in San Jose, Calif., to three years probation and six months home confinement, and ordered to pay $30,000 in restitution and not to contact any of the defendants, DOT-OIG said; the sentencing resulted from a superseding indictment and plea agreement.

According to DOT-OIG, NMN — a company that provided fraudulently low moving estimates to customers partnered with AY Transport, another moving company based in San Jose — lured customers into doing business with them by offering them extremely low moving estimates, and after taking possession of customers’ property, increased the price after AY Transport picked up the customers’ goods.

Almost 80 percent of AY Transport’s business came from NMN, DOT-OIG said, and in December 2007, 14 defendants — including the owners of AY Transport and NMN — were indicted for conspiracy, wire fraud, extortion and monetary laundering; Sandomir agreed to cooperate with the DOT-OIG investigation to avoid a felony conviction.