BOSTON (CBS) – A Billerica moving and storage company has agreed to pay $60,000 to an Air Force Technical Sergeant for auctioning off his belongings while he served overseas.
The Justice Department sued Father & Son Moving & Storage last year because it didn’t get a court order before it auctioned off everything in two storage units belonging to the unidentified Technical Sergeant. Federal authorities said that’s illegal under the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act (SCRA).
Prosecutors said the sergeant told a Father & Son agent that he was in the military and wore his Air Force uniform while company workers packed up his belongings at Hanscom Air Force Base.
While he was overseas, Father & Son auctioned off the sergeant’s furniture, his personal photos, military gear and mementos belonging to a cousin who was killed in action in Afghanistan and his grandfather’s military service medals.
The U.S. Attorney’s Office in Boston announced the settlement Thursday.
Father & Son will pay the Technical Sergeant $60,000 in damages and a $5,000 civil penalty to the federal government. The moving company must also implement new policies to prevent any similar violations from ever happening again.
Father & Son has been the subject of several I-Team investigations over the years and accused of holding customers’ belongings hostage while demanding more money. Attorney General Maura Healey took legal action against the company in 2017.