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I-Team: Moving Company That ‘Held Furniture Hostage’ Heavily Fined

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WBZ-TV's Joe Shortsleeve Joe Shortsleeve
Joe Shortsleeve is chief correspondent for WBZ-TV News weekdays a...
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BOSTON (CBS) — The Attorney General is taking action tonight against a Billerica moving company which the I-Team investigated last fall.

Tonight the company is facing hefty fines.

Customers who were ripped off will be getting their money back.

“I am really happy. Obviously any time you get a check back for a good amount of money it is a good day,” Julie Whitely said.

Whitely of Bedford, is smiling now.

She is one of about 80 Massachusetts families getting a check in the mail. But Whitley was not smiling last fall when she was ripped off by Father and Son Moving Company out of Billerica.

Lured in by low prices and a great deal, but like many families once valuables were loaded onto the back of the truck the prices went up. Sometimes they were twice the original quote. In most cases, customers were told they had to pay to get their furniture back.

“They are paying a substantial fine,” Attorney General Martha Coakley said.

Coakley is now forcing Father and Son to pay back more than $75,000 to infuriated customers. And company executives are also facing the possibility of another $125,000 in fines and penalties.

“They are under conditions not to behave in this way again, if they do we will go directly back to the courts,” Coakley said.

The Moving Company released a statement to the I-Teamsaying:

“Although we strongly deny the allegations made against Father and Son Moving and Storage, we feel that it is the best interest of our company and employees to agree to the terms laid out in the settlement offer.”

Julie Whitely says the settlement sends a strong message.

“You can’t take advantage of people because somebody somewhere is going to standup and call you out on it.”

The settlement may not be the end of it for Father and Son.

The company’s Billerica offices were recently raided by federal agents. Many complaints came from people outside Massachusetts. And those people, as many as 60 additional families, want justice too.

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