Los Angeles (CBSLA) A removal company not licensed to operate in California is now under criminal investigation after dozens of customers hired the company to move their belongings across the country only to find out their items may be in storage and may be auctioned off .

What was to be a new chapter in their life turned into a never-ending nightmare for families who lost furniture, clothing, and sentimental items that can never be replaced.

CONTINUE READING: Paul George scores 34, Clippers School Young Spurs 106-92

In April, Maribel Moses and her boyfriend were looking for a moving company to move them from Los Angeles to Vermont, where Moses began studying law.

“You get a lot of worried calls during this process, so I answered the phone and it was a company called Gold Standard Moving and Storage,” Moses told Kristine Lazar of CBSLA.

When moving day arrived in July, the moving workers were three days late, and that was not what Moses expected.

“So they finally show up in an Enterprise rental car,” said Moses.

Moses said it was at this point that she learned that Gold Standard is a broker who hired East Freight Logistics to handle the move. Maribel desperately researched East Freight and was hit by a litany of negative reviews. She says she tried to withdraw, but Gold Standard told her it was too late to cancel without losing her $ 1,300 deposit.

“We have been given the greatest assurance that our things will be delivered safely,” said Moses.

Moses’ contract stipulated an estimated delivery time of 7 to 21 working days. However, by September her belongings had still not been delivered.

“Sometimes I called and she said, ‘We have a driver, he’ll be there in 6 days,'” said Moses. “Sometimes I would call and she would say, ‘Oh, just kidding, we don’t have a driver, we’re looking for another driver.’ So that’s what attracted us all the time. “

In October, Moses was beside himself.

“We don’t have a couch to sit on,” said Moses. “We don’t have any pots and pans to cook with. My friend had his childhood yearbooks and family photos. I had jewelry that my grandma had given me since I was a child. “

Desperate for help, Moses stumbled upon a Facebook page titled “East Freight Logistics Fraud”. She has learned that she is not alone. A similar fate befell David and Brenda Smith, who moved to Ohio from Victorville in June.

“We haven’t enjoyed anything because this is our daily life trying to figure out where our things are,” said David Smith.

“My daughter was born with a pound,” said Smith. “We’ve all lost their hospital pictures, their graduation pictures. She has nothing to show her children. “

Christy Clark moved across country to Florida in June. She also hired Gold Standard without knowing it was just a broker. On day 80 of waiting for her things to arrive, she called East Freight Logistics.

“My kid doesn’t have his or her things,” said Clark. “I don’t have any baby pictures. The ashes of my husband’s grandparents are in there. I can’t believe you can be so heartless And she told me I could wait another 10 to 14 days or go to California and get my things. “

She did, and when she got to the warehouse where her belongings were stored, Clark found that the rent had not been paid and that her belongings were being auctioned.

CONTINUE READING: Searched for armed marauders terrorizing the Shadow Hills neighborhood

“They suggested that I wait in Victorville and try to bid on my own things,” said Clark.

Clark called the local police and was able to get her things. However, she saw other people’s belongings in the same storage room.

“And that means there are people who never get their stuff back, and that’s heartbreaking,” said Clark.

According to the California Department of Consumers, East Freight Logistics is not licensed in California to “move household goods.” This year alone, there have been 93 complaints with the US Department of Transportation. Most of them because they don’t deliver goods.

Earlier this month, Gold Standard was stripped of its brokerage authority, meaning it will officially be out of business until it is reinstated.

Carrie Clark, who is not related to Christy, says she didn’t know she hired a broker when she signed a contract with Gold Standard.

“Little did I know they’d brokered the move to anyone,” said Carrie Clark. “They never revealed that.”

“I called and called and called,” she added. “My number would be blocked.”

Carrie Clark was unemployed, so researching East Freight became her obsession. It led them to a rented room in a Salvation Army building in Grants Pass, Ore.

“I didn’t see any organization and boxes and things open and gone through,” said Carrie Clark. “I saw furniture and boxes piled so high, not organized. The names of numerous people and they use these little tags to identify your things. Different color labels, all in stacks. “

Carrie called on the local Grants Pass police. A Grants Pass police detective has confirmed to CBSLA that a criminal investigation is ongoing. A Portland police officer emailed CBSLA that he was trying to get the FBI or the Department of Transportation followed up.

“And I can usually spot a scam a mile away, but I don’t have it,” said Carrie Clark. “And the regret and feeling like it’s all my fault. It was just really difficult. “

The Portland Police Detective tries to help customers get their belongings from storage facilities in Oregon. CBSLA was able to locate multiple storage units at a facility in Victorville that East Freight leases. Most are overdue, which means that people’s belongings could be auctioned off.

Many people had to go to California and Oregon to get their belongings. Nobody was able to get a refund from the moving companies. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration is also conducting a civil investigation into East Freight Logistics and the brokers they hire, including Gold Standard.

When CBSLA contacted East Freight Logistics, a woman posing as the owner claimed the company was licensed to do business in California, which CBSLA has confirmed is not.

She also said that she would solve the cases Lazar sent her. However, Lazar never heard anything.

MORE NEWS: Booster Shot Confusion as California Violates Current CDC and FDA Recommendations

Gold Standard has meanwhile not responded to any further requests for comment.