10 Connects helps bust national locksmith chain
CLEARWATER, Florida - Just days after a 10 Connects investigation into deceptive sales practices by a national locksmith chain based in Tampa Bay, federal agents stormed the headquarters of "Dependable Locks," seizing computers and documents and arresting one of its owners for alleged money laundering.
"This reaches throughout the United States," said Doug Smith with the U.S. Postal Inspection Service, the agency to raid the office. "Clearwater...is where a lot of the employees were working, basically in a call center-type scenario."
Despite hundreds of complaints to dozens of different state agencies, it took a collective effort from the U.S. Postal Inspection Service, the Missouri Attorney General, and Clearwater Police to bring the company down because locksmiths are unregulated in 36 states, including Florida.
Watch our follow-up story on Florida's lack of locksmith legislation.
Investigators arrested one of the owners of "Dependable Locks," Moshe Aharoni, charging him with federal mail fraud. An affidavit (read it in its entirety here) accuses Aharoni, 28, and fellow owner David Peer, 31, of laundering money from over a hundred locksmiths across the county through Postal Service money orders. Peer turned himself into federal marshalls Thursday.
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