We have more insight into the “Mr. Move” extortion case.
The Better Business Bureau says the Metairie-based company has received 54-complaints within the past three years; but only one has led to recent criminal charges.
WGNO News Reporter Darian Trotter spoke to an attorney who explains what may have made the difference.
“Once they have your stuff, they know they’ve got you,” said January 2012 “Mr. Move” customer Tommy Zanca.
The company and it’s employees are accused of withholding property, while demanding more money from customers than agreed upon.
Helpless best describes complainants.
“I contacted law enforcement and they said this is civil,” Zanca said. “We can’t do anything.”
Apparently, company owner Dunwoodie McDuffie knew it.
Kiera Jones says his arrogance was loud and clear, in a recorded phone conversation she says she had with McDuffie.
“Don’t come with the police.” “That’s not even a threat,” (heard in audio recordings).
“If you think that’s the right thing to do, then I tell you what, you know where I am 3724 airline highway.” “Bring the police over right this moment.” (heard in audio recordings).
“Police ain’t gonna do s*^t for you, understand.” “Nothing!” “Soon as they see the contract you signed, know what they’re going to tell you? Pay the man or get the hell out of here.” (heard in audio recordings). “This is a civil matter ma’am.”
“He flat out told me I could call whoever I wanted; any government agency, any police authorities, and no one could do anything because it was a civil matter and no one could touch him,” said May 2013 “Mr. Move” customer Megan Bagley.
That was until Megan Bagley took her complaint to the Louisiana Public Service Commission, Mandeville Police, and the St. Tammany District Attorney.
“What’s important is for the truth to get out there,” said Stephen Rue.
Rue is an attorney who says the difference between Bagley’s complaint, which led to arrests, and scores of others that went nowhere, is the St. Tammany District Attorney’s courage to do the right thing.
“I think the St. Tammany district attorney’s office is doing a wonderful job as to protecting people’s rights in this case and I would urge the other district attorneys in the various surrounding parishes to do exactly the same,” Rue said.
Now that charges have been filed, authorities say they are focused on putting together a solid case against “Mr. Move” that can be tried in court.