FMC Obtains Injunction Against International Household Goods Movers All-In-One Shipping, Inc., Around the World Shipping, Inc., Boston Logistics Corp., Global Direct Shipping, Daniel Cuadrado, Elizabeth F. Hudson, and Joshua Morales
January 18, 2006
CONTACT: Amy W. Larson, General Counsel, (202) 523-5740 and Generalcounsel@fmc.gov
Bryant L. VanBrakle, Secretary, (202) 523-5725 and Secretary@fmc.gov
On January 17, 2006, the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida granted the Federal Maritime Commission's request for a preliminary injunction against Defendants All-In-One Shipping, Inc., Around The World Shipping, Inc., Boston Logistics Corp., three Florida companies, and their respective officers, Defendants Joshua Morales, Daniel Cuadrado, and Elizabeth F. Hudson, as well as Defendant Global Direct Shipping, an unincorporated entity that also operates in Florida. The injunction prohibits the Defendants from acting as non-vessel-operating common carriers without a license, proof of financial responsibility, or public tariff. Violation of the injunction could lead to the Defendants being held in civil contempt by the court.
On January 12, 2006, the FMC filed a Complaint for Injunctive Relief and a Motion for Preliminary Injunction in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida seeking a preliminary injunction against the above named Defendants. The complaint and motion are based on an FMC Order, Docket No. 06-01, captioned Worldwide Relocations, Inc., All-in-One Shipping, Inc., Boston Logistics Corp., Around the World Shipping, Inc., Tradewind Consulting, Inc., Global Direct Shipping, Megan K. Karpick (a.k.a. Catherine Kaiser, Kathryn Kaiser, Catherine Kerpick, Megan Kaiser and Alexandria Hudson), Martin J. McKenzie, Patrick John Costadoni, Elizabeth F. Hudson, Sharon Fachler, and Oren Fachler, et al. -- Possible Violations of Sections 8, 10 and 19 of the Shipping Act of 1984 and the Commissions Regulations at 46 C.F.R. §§ 515.3, 515.21 and 520.3. The FMC's Order noted that the FMC had received over 250 consumer complaints from shippers regarding the above individuals and companies alleging, among other things, that the companies: failed to deliver the cargo and refused to return pre-paid ocean freight; lost the cargo; charged the shipper for marine insurance which they never obtained; misled the shipper as to the whereabouts of cargo; charged the shipper an inflated rate and withheld cargo until that rate was paid; and failed to pay the common carrier. In many cases, the shipper was forced to pay another carrier or warehouse a second time in order to have the cargo released. The FMC decided to seek injunctive relief to enjoin the Defendants from conducting unlawful activities pending the completion of the FMC's formal investigation.
On January 17, 2006, U.S. District Court Judge Marcia G. Cooke granted the preliminary injunction. The order granting the injunction provides that Defendants, their agents, servants, employees, and attorneys, and those in active concert or participation with them, are restrained and enjoined from violating sections 8, 19(a) and 19(b) of the Shipping Act of 1984, 46 U.S.C. app. § 1707, 1718(a) and 1718(b), by accepting cargo for transportation and advertising for or soliciting cargo while operating as an ocean transportation intermediary in the United States without a valid license issued by the Federal Maritime Commission, and by accepting cargo for transportation and advertising for or soliciting cargo while operating as a non-vessel-operating common carrier without a valid bond, proof of insurance or other surety on file with the Federal Maritime Commission and without a tariff available for inspection by the public. The injunction will remain in effect until ten days after the completion of the Commission's investigatory proceeding.
In response to the court's ruling, FMC Chairman Steven R. Blust stated: ""We are pleased that the court acted so promptly in granting the preliminary injunction. Shippers have a right to expect that companies providing ocean transportation services are licensed and bonded in accordance with the Shipping Act. We are committed to ensuring that such companies are in compliance with the law in both FMC proceedings and, when necessary, in federal court."
Non-vessel-operating common carriers are required to hold a license issued by the FMC and to have a tariff publicly available for inspection. Non-vessel-operating common carriers operating in the United States must demonstrate their financial responsibility by providing a bond, proof of insurance or other surety in the amount of $75,000. These requirements are designed to protect the public from the egregious behavior described above.
The FMC's proceeding has been assigned to the FMC's Office of Administrative Law Judges for hearing. The FMC's Bureau of Enforcement has also been named a party to the proceeding. Questions regarding this proceeding should be addressed to Bryant L. VanBrakle, Secretary, (202) 523-5725, Secretary@fmc.gov.
The Federal Maritime Commission is responsible for the regulation of ocean-borne transportation in the foreign commerce of the U.S. The FMC is working to streamline the regulatory process as it goes about fulfilling its core mission, which is to administer regulations and policies that foster a fair, efficient and secure maritime transportation system.
Press Contact: Bryant L. VanBrakle (202) 523-5725; e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org