NEWARK, N.J. (Legal Newsline) - New Jersey Attorney General Jeffrey Chiesa announced a default judgment Monday against two moving companies that allegedly low-balled moving estimates and held moved possessions hostage if consumers refused to pay significantly more.
Under the terms of the judgment, Progressive Movers Inc., Konstantin Egorov, Progressive's owner/operator, ABC Packing Supplies Inc. and Yevgeniy Piskun, ABC's owner/operator, must pay $123,532 in consumer restitution to approximately 70 customers. The defendants were assessed $21.2 million in civil penalties, restitution and attorney costs in total. The state will docket the judgment as a statewide lien because the defendants are not able to make the payments at this time.
In addition to the alleged violations of the Public Mover's Licensing Act and the Consumer Fraud Act, Progressive and Egorov allegedly violated the terms of a 2010 consent order, resulting in the imposition of a previously suspended civil penalty of $55,000.
"These defendants enticed consumers with low-cost moves that they had no intention of honoring," Chiesa said. "Bait-and-switch pricing, demands for higher payments and forcing consumers to pay significantly higher prices by withholding their possessions were all part of their ordinary business practices. Through this action, we're shutting down both companies and barring these two men from ever again working in the moving industry."
The final judgment annuls and vacates the corporate charters of both Progressive and ABC.
Both companies operated under multiple different names. Yevgeniy Piskun operated under at least seven different aliases.