LAKE COUNTY, Fla. – A woman who recently relocated to Central Florida claims she was assaulted by a mover in California shortly before he drove off with her belongings in a moving truck.
As the police conduct a criminal investigation, the customer has been waiting nearly three months for the moving company to deliver her possessions.
“It’s just not easy to go through something like that,” Sherri Kasuba said.
Kasuba contacted News 6 to warn other potential customers about her experience.
“Please don’t be alone in your home. Have someone with you when that moving company arrives.”
A representative from the moving company, East Freight Logistics, acknowledged Kasuba’s belongings are still in California but declined to put News 6 in contact with anyone from the company who could answer questions about the alleged assault.
“I wasn’t there,” said an East Freight Logistics representative who identified herself as Ellen. “I don’t know anything about it.”
The U.S. Department of Transportation has received nearly 50 complaints about East Freight Logistics this year, while unhappy customers have shared unfavorable reviews with the Better Business Bureau and Yelp.
After spending several years caring for relatives in a small town outside Palm Springs, California, Kasuba decided to move back home to Central Florida.
While doing an online search, Kasuba found the website for Gold Standard Moving, a broker that does not own any trucks but instead arranges for a separate company to transport customers’ belongings.
A representative from Gold Standard Moving confirmed it outsourced Kasuba’s move to East Freight Logistics.
“They just showed up and said they’re the moving company,” Kasuba said.
Kasuba claims she had never heard of East Freight Logistics until two men arrived at her home in a rented moving truck.
After loading the truck on July 26 with numerous boxes containing clothes, kitchen appliances, photos and other sentimental keepsakes, Kasuba said the two movers followed her to a nearby self-storage facility to pick up a few remaining items.
Just as the moving truck was about to leave, Kasuba said one of the movers did something inappropriate.
“I ended up being assaulted by one of the movers,” Kasuba said, who does not want to publicly disclose specific details of the incident, citing a law enforcement investigation. “After that happened, I was so upset and just distraught that I didn’t even think of getting paperwork from them. And then they left.”
Kasuba said she immediately contacted the police department in Cathedral City, California, to report the incident.
“This is an ongoing criminal investigation with more work to be done by [a detective] before he’s able to send it to the district attorney’s office for a possible criminal filing and review of the case,” Cathedral City Police Sgt. Rick Sanchez said.
Last week, Kasuba said an investigator with the Lake County Sheriff’s Office showed her photos of potential suspects, including a man she identified as the mover.
A Lake County Sheriff’s Office spokesperson confirmed the agency presented Kasuba with a “police lineup” on behalf of the Cathedral City Police Department.
As Kasuba awaits the results of the police investigation, she has still not received any of her belongings from East Freight Logistics since the items were picked up in California 11 weeks ago.
The delivery was originally estimated to arrive in “7-12 business days”, according to Kasuba’s written agreement with the broker.
State and federal records indicate East Freight Logistics is based in Florida and managed by Marlene Gonzalez.
News 6 was initially unable to reach Gonzalez or any other company representatives by phone or email.
When a News 6 reporter visited the company’s business address, located in a residential area of Jacksonville, an unidentified man who answered the door said the business is actually based in Portland, Oregon.
The man claimed the company had recently changed its plans to operate from Jacksonville but continued to use his home as a mailing address.
Minutes after the man ordered the News 6 reporter to leave his property, an East Freight Logistics representative who identified herself as Ellen contacted News 6 by phone.
Ellen, who did not disclose her last name, said Kasuba’s belongings were still in a California storage facility and indicated they would not be delivered to Florida for several more weeks.
“The driver got sick with COVID and we can’t find other drivers,” Ellen said.
Ellen suggested Kasuba might eventually be given an opportunity to retrieve the boxes herself.
Ellen acknowledged her company had been in contact with a detective about Kasuba’s complaints, but she claimed to be unaware of the assault allegations and declined to answer questions about the movers who picked up Kasuba’s belongings.
Gold Standard Moving, the broker that arranged Kasuba’s move, said it knows about prior customer complaints against East Freight Logistics.
“A moving company with zero complaints does not exist,” a representative of Gold Standard Moving Charles Ross said.
Ross indicated his company has been in contact with East Freight Logistics regarding Kasuba’s accusations and was reportedly assured that the employee will be cleared of any wrongdoing.
“Sadly, we were not there and cannot weigh in on this issue,” Ross said. “We wish we could do more to help resolve these issues, but considering the severity of the allegations, we feel the authorities should handle it from here.”
The U.S. Department of Transportation has set up a website, ProtectYourMove.gov to help consumers research moving companies and learn their rights and responsibilities before hiring one.