Two men pleaded guilty to charges on Nov. 10 in federal court in Philadelphia for conspiracy to commit extortion and aiding and abetting for their role in a household goods moving scheme.
Mohammad Hamdan, also known as Alex Hamdan, of Raleigh, North Carolina and Mohammad Sabbar, also know as Ali Sabbar, of Schnecksville, Pennsylvania, were indicted by a federal grand jury in October 2013.
Prosecutors claimed they engaged in a scheme to extort money from a private consumer related to a shipment of household goods from California to Philadelphia, according to the U.S. Transportation Department Office of Inspector General.
Sabbar admitted that between November and December 2012, he and Hamdan conspired to extort money from the victim by demanding money that exceeded the consumer’s contractual obligation. Also Hamdan and Sabbar threatened to withhold delivery of the household goods unless the victim met their demands.
The investigation, conducted by the Office of Inspector General and the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, which included an undercover operation, revealed that Hamdan and Sabbar conspired and demanded $9,000 from the consumer, far in excess of the remaining $1,467 on the contract. After the alleged extorted proceeds were deposited into Hamdan's bank account, most of the household goods were released to the consumer, who waited in excess of three months to receive his possessions.
Meantime, on November 5, a Louisiana man pleaded guilt in federal court in New Orleans to running an interstate household goods moving operation from February to April of last year using a revoked U.S. Department of Transportation number and without registering for DOT household goods operating authority, according to the Inspector General.
Dunwoodie McDuffie, the owner and operator of Mr. Move, in the New Orleans, had his company placed out of service by the FMCSA on December 3, 2008, for failing to comply with safety review requirements. As a result, Mr. Move did not have operating authority to conduct interstate household goods moves.
The investigation by the IG and FMCSA revealed that Mr. Move conducted seventeen interstate household goods moves between January 2013 and August 2013, in violation of the FMCSA out of service order.
Sentencing dates for all three men were not announced.