Alliance Worldwide Van Lines — Chris Michalski Strikes Again

This post was originally a post about how Chris Michalski — under various company names — operates what is known as a hostage moving scam operation. I have since edited the post because his comments do a better job than I ever could of showing his character as a businessman.

After his attempts at hiring people to spam the comments section of this post failed, he decided to threaten a lawsuit against me. The lawsuit doesn’t scare me. There was nothing false on this page, so there was no basis for any lawsuit. But that’s not the point, here.

In a nutshell, this page was about why no one should ever do business with Chris Michalski, Amy Michalski, or Chris Michalski’s mother in law — Cheryl Theismann. If I recall correctly, they own Alliance Worldwide Van Lines, Northern Van Lines, and movealong.co respectively.

At any rate, the comments below should give you more than enough than you need to know about Chris Michalski’s character. I want to personally thank Chris Michalski for proving my point.

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Oren “Leo” Osadon and Best Rate Movers

I received a very reliable tip that Oren Osadon has come up with yet a new alias. It seems he’s going by Leo Osadon these days and he’s scamming people under the company name Best Rate Movers. Apparently, he’s driving the trucks himself now, too. Unsurprisingly, Budget Van Lines is contracting out to Best Rate Movers, because I have confirmed that Budget Van Lines is a scam company, too.

In other news, Robert Michalski, formerly of Zooz Transportation (among many others), was arrested on manslaughter charges involving heroin. I wish I could remember the name of the moving company he worked for previously. I spoke with the owner and flat out told him that Robert and Chris were dope dealers and he assured me that these two guys are perfectly nice guys and wouldn’t do anything like that. HA!

That’s the wrong Robert Michalski. This is the correct Robert Michalski I’m assuming his “failure to appear” was from this story. So Robert is still a criminal drug addict… just not a different criminal drug addict.

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Who To Contact If You’ve Been Scammed

If your move is being held hostage, you should contact http://www.moverescue.com/

They are a reputable company that assists people that have been scammed by disreputable moving companies.

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Gold Coast Moving / Lidor Van Lines

If you’re looking at moving companies, it appears that these scammers are now operating as Gold Coast Moving and/or Lidor Van Lines. The website information for this new company is incredibly similar to the Zooz Transportation website. I’ll be contacting the FMCSA about it as soon as possible.

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One Person Dead, Thousands of Dollars of Property Destroyed

I’ve held on to this story for a while in order to give lawyers and the people affected some time to grieve and get their ducks in a row, but I think it’s time to talk about something that happened on June 27th, 2011.

This woman’s story is by far the most horrendous act that I’ve heard about this group of scammers. She went through a broker named World Wide Van Lines who contracted her out to All American Trusted Van Lines. As a side note, when I spoke to the FMCSA hotline, she said they were already very well aware of World Wide Van Lines.

At any rate, her story starts off like the same standard hostage moving scam: they pick up the shipment, after which it is impossible to get in contact with them and they do not provide any information. As is standard, when they finally get around to contacting you, they demand more money and your shipment is always weeks late.

When she finally did arrange delivery (after all of the fake dates came and went), she was scheduled for the morning of June 27th. She received a call from the driver on June 26th letting her know that they would arrive early the next morning. When they didn’t show up on the morning of the 27th, she started making phone calls.

She finally received about 20% of her shipment on July 6th. Nothing could prepare her for what she would learn next.

On July 12th, she learned that the truck carrying her shipment had been involved in a fatal wreck on I-17 outside of Flagstaff. This article details the crash. It has been reported that the driver didn’t even have a CDL, which would have been required for driving this type of truck.

She went to the tow yard where her stuff was moved to after the accident and rummaged through all of her completely destroyed property trying to salvage anything including artwork, family heirlooms, antiques, and family pictures. It was no use. Everything was destroyed. On top of all of that, one man is dead.

I’ve heard a rumor that the family of the man who was killed is filing a wrongful death lawsuit (hopefully against Oren Osaden and Franco Matar directly).

I generally get about 2 or 3 emails a week from people trying to find their shipment. I can’t imagine a moving story that could possibly be worse than this one though.

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All American Trusted Van Lines Missing Shipments

If you were moved by any of the companies related to this ring of scammers and you are awaiting your shipment, it is very possible that your stuff is being held by the Los Angeles Police Department. They were probably operating as some form of All American Trusted Van Lines or New Life Van Lines.

Oren Osaden and Franco Matar have had arrest warrants issued against them and the LAPD, in cooperation with the Bakersfield, CA Police Department served a search warrant on a storage unit in the LA area. In the process of serving the warrant, they found at least 10 different shipments inside of a storage unit. Each shipment had names on it and the Bakersfield PD is trying to contact the owners of these shipments. Another victim is working on getting a search warrant for a storage facility in the northwest (Seattle area), and that may uncover other shipments as well.

I’ve been told that the Los Angeles District Attorney will file criminal charges against both Oren Osaden and Franco Matar, but I do not have any details on this yet.

If you moved from the Los Angeles area with one of these companies, please contact me at eric@mangler.org and I will get you contact information for the detective in Bakersfield that’s working this case.

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Budget Van Lines Brokers To Scammers

I’ve held off for a while on making a determination about Budget Van Lines, but today I’m going to have to state my opinion that Budget Van Lines is a rogue moving broker that routinely and knowingly contracts jobs out to companies that run hostage moving scams. As such, Budget Van Lines is complicit in running hostage moving scams.

Back in March when I first started this website, I was contacted by a couple that hired Budget Van Lines. Budget then brokered the job to Zooz Transportation. As with all of Zooz’s jobs, the couple got screwed over by Zooz and Budget wasn’t being incredibly helpful. While I was researching their issue, I spoke with the “supervisor” at Budget. I don’t remember her name now (I think it was Amy), but I specifically asked if there was anyone higher up than her that I could talk to and she said “No.”

She told me that she was friends with Oren Osadon and Shimon Sasson and that they were “good people.” She informed me that she just had dinner with them that night and they were friends. When I tried to pressure her to stop brokering jobs to Zooz, she flat out refused and she more or less mocked me for even trying.

Even with all of that information, I withheld judgement on Budget Van Lines. Today, however, I can say without a doubt that Budget Van Lines is a scam moving broker and they are not to be trusted.

Yesterday, I heard the story of a woman that moved through Budget Van Lines that ended up getting contracted out to Zooz Transportation in the beginning of May. It’s been two months and she still doesn’t have her stuff. Zooz Transportation ended up sending the job over to another company called All American Trusted Van Lines. The owner of that company is named Franco Matar. Unsurprisingly, Franco is friends with Shimon Sasson and All American Trusted Van Lines is yet another scam moving company. My sources have informed me that Franco and Shimon were going to partner together about a year ago. All American Trusted Van Lines had their license revoked by the Department of Transportation on May 10th, 2011.

So back to Budget Van Lines… they continue to broker jobs out to companies that they know full well run hostage moving scams. If you book a job through Budget Van Lines, there is a distinct possibility that you’re going to end up getting screwed. It’s not incredibly obvious where exactly Budget Van Lines is located, either. Their website says they are located in New York City, but Oren and Shimon are in Los Angeles. The FMCSA shows that Budget Van Lines is located in Virginia. The Better Business Bureau lists a company called Budget Van Lines on Wilshire Blvd. in Los Angeles. That company has an F rating with the BBB with a total of 72 complaints in the past year.

The BBB also reports this additional information about Budget Van Lines:

Complaints allege failure to honor moving quotes, failure to notify customers that their move will be subcontracted out to another carrier, damage and loss claims, delivery issues and failure to assist in resolving disputes. The company generally responds to complaints by referring customers to the carrier who conducted the moving services, claiming they simply acted as a broker and have no responsibility for what took place during the move. In some cases, the company addressed claims of failing to honor estimates and quotes by claiming the customer did not provide the correct inventory and had more items than quoted.

As such, I’m officially adding Budget Van Lines into my crosshairs for moving companies to take down. They are deeply involved with Zooz Transportation, which makes them a prime target for investigation. The FMCSA shows 36 complaints in 2011 (that’s 36 complaints in 6 months!). I will definitely be bringing this up with the DOT next week.

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Results of FOIA Request for Mainline Transportation

Jerry Budenske recently filed a Freedom of Information Act request with the FMCSA regarding documents related to Mainline Transportation. He received a response today which highlights a few interesting facts about Mainline Transportation.

First of all, Mainline Transportation has been fined twice in the past year and there is also an additional ongoing investigation. Unfortuantely, the fines seem very light. On June 22nd, 2010, they were fined $2,330 and on September 7th, 2010, they were fined $5,280.

Secondly, this documentation proves Mainline Transportation and Zooz Transportation are the same company contrary to what Shimon told me. The notices of claim for Mainline Transportation were sent to Shimon Sasson, the owner of Zooz Transportation.

Lastly, it seems that the FMCSA educated Shimon Sasson and Oren Osadon on the “110% rule and hostage load situations.” Apparently, they didn’t actually learn anything though.

Here is what is called the “Description of Subject” from the Enforcement Case Report:

Mainline Transportation is a household goods mover where their principle place of business is located at 14751 Caalvert Street, Van Nuys, CA 91411. Mr. Shimon Sason (owner/president) license number CA-D6321445 of the company Mainline Transportation, Inc., USDOT#1198091, MC #478023 and Oren Osadon (dispatcher/general manager) license number [redacted]. Sason stated company was first purchased by Mr. Tzaji Svethlith and Sason was dispatcher of the company. On 04/20/2010 Sason decided to buy the company from Svethlith. Carrier provided proof of ownership through the State of California Secretary of State Statement of Information. Sason has had two other companies in the same address location:

Four Seasons Van Lines Inc. USDOT #1730002, MC #633885

Flat Price Moving & Storage Inc, USDOT #1885877, MC #679602

Here is the full PDF with the FOIA request results.

I have submitted another FOIA request to the Department of Transportation for information relating to Zooz Transportation.

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ZooZ’s Contract Carrier Status Has Been Revoked

On June 22, 2011, the FMCSA revoked ZooZ Transportation’s contract carrier status. I’m assuming they’re in the market for a new company to destroy. I’ve gotten a lead on the latest company they’re looking to destroy, but I haven’t been able to confirm that information yet.

Here’s a screenshot from the FMCSA report on ZooZ’s carrier status:

Revoked!

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ZooZ Screws Over Employees As Well As Customers

I just got word about a pending civil case filed in the Superior Court of California, County of Los Angeles. The case was filed on May 20, 2011 and it alleges Negligence, Willful Misconduct, and Intentional Infliction of Emotional Distress against both Mainline Transportation (a.k.a. ZooZ Transportation) as well as Penske Rental Trucks. As we all know, this is standard fare for these scammers, but the difference this time is this story is totally different from the moving scam we’ve all been through.

Here’s the main part of the complaint:

On or about January 13, 2011, Plaintiffs were the operators of a truck entrusted to them by Defendants. The aforesaid truck had been leased by Defendant Mainline from Defendant Penske. Unbeknownst to Plaintiffs, Defendant Mainline was or had been behind on lease payments to Defendant Penske. Further, unbeknownst to Plaintiffs and either due to miscommunications between the Defendants, and each of them, or due to an intentional action by the Defendants, and each of them, the aforesaid truck was reported as stolen.

On or about January 13, 2011, Plaintiffs were arrested and held in jail for 7 days on charges of Grand Theft — Auto. Plaintiffs had to post bail to obtain their release from jail, and thereafter had to make court appearances following their release in order to exonerate themselves.

Here’s a full copy of the complaint: Fernandez v. Mainline (PDF).

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