Multiple arrests, hundreds of charges laid in moving company scam

A Toronto police constable is seen in the Scarborough warehouse of a moving company accused of deceptive pricing. (CBC - image credit)
A Toronto police constable is seen in the Scarborough warehouse of a moving company accused of deceptive pricing. (CBC - image credit)

Toronto police say they've made multiple arrests and laid hundreds of charges in a months-long fraud investigation.

Police say four people were arrested this week in connection with moving company fraud in the area of Bellamy Road and Progress Avenue in Scarborough.

Back in June, officers executed a warrant against several budget moving companies following an undercover investigation by CBC's Marketplace into a group of national moving companies accused of deceptive pricing.

According to police, two men bought and operated the companies, quoting customers low amounts when they reached out online.

However, police say, after the companies picked up a person's belongings, they used contracts without signed amounts and would then withhold their customers' belongings until a higher amount was paid that police said would be "thousands of dollars more than they were originally quoted."

Police say it is believed the companies would then threaten to sell off the customers' belongings unless the higher amount was paid.

In some cases, police say, that did happen.

WATCH | A Marketplace hidden-camera move reveals company's late change in pricing:

On Friday, police say they arrested a 55-year-old Toronto woman, who has been charged with theft over $5,000, conspiracy to commit an indictable offence and mischief by interfering with property over $5,000. She is expected to appear in court Nov. 1.

Three other people from Toronto are also facing hundreds of charges. Friends and business partners Cemal Ozturk, 30, and Dogan Celik, 29, as well as a 26-year-old woman have all been charged with dozens of offences, including obtaining through false pretence, fraud over $5,000, possession of property obtained by crime, theft, fraud and attempted fraud.

Ozturk and Celik were each previously charged with four counts of fraud, mischief, possession of property obtained by crime and false pretence, as well as conspiracy to commit indictable offences. It is not clear when they're next expected in court.

Police say all belongings have now been returned to customers.

These are the companies listed under the June warrant:

  • Move Me Again Transportation Inc.

  • All You Can Move

  • Canadian Principal Movers

  • Safebound Moving & Storage

  • Roadway Moving & Storage

  • 12282569 Canada Inc.

  • All Over Canada Van Lines Inc.

  • East Coast Star Van Lines Inc.

  • Greenway Moving and Storage Inc.

  • Moonstar Van Lines Inc.

  • 13448037 Canada Inc.

  • O'Canada Movers

  • New Vision Movers.