A.G. Schneiderman Announces Lawsuit Against Syracuse Student Storage Company

News from Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
December 14, 2017

Attorney General’s Press Office / 212-416-8060
nyag.pressoffice@ag.ny.gov
Twitter: @AGSchneiderman
 

A.G. SCHNEIDERMAN ANNOUNCES LAWSUIT AGAINST SYRACUSE STUDENT STORAGE COMPANY

Brian Jagodzinski, Owner Of Not My Parents Garage, Transported College Students’ Personal Belongings To A Syracuse Warehouse For Storage But Failed To Deliver Their Belongings To Their College Campuses As Promised 

Attorney General Seeks Court Order Barring Jagodzinski From Continuing Fraudulent Business Practices and Requiring Him To Pay Restitution, Penalties, And Fees 

Attorney General Urges Impacted Consumers To Contact His Office Right Away

SYRACUSE - Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman today announced a lawsuit against Brian A. Jagodzinski and Not My Parents Garage, LLC, a Syracuse moving and storage company that promised to transport, store, and deliver college students’ household goods during the summer and semesters abroad, but failed to follow through on their contractual agreements. Not My Parents Garage was marketed as a “Door to Door student storage service” that provided college students and their parents with an affordable alternative to transporting possessions back and forth each year. Jagodzinski also owned and operated Not My Garage, which offered similar services for residential customers.

“Students entrust storage companies with their valuables, expecting that their items will be protected and returned—not mishandled,” said Attorney General Schneiderman. “With help from my office, most of the impacted students have retrieved their possessions– and we are taking legal action to ensure those responsible are fully held to account. We urge any New Yorker who has not yet tracked down their belongings to contact us right away.”

In August 2017, the Attorney General’s Office received over 45 complaints from students and parents who had contracted with Not My Parents Garage to transport and store household items in a warehouse at the Green Hills Plaza in Syracuse, NY. The consumers reported that they were unable to reach anyone from the company regarding delivery of their belongings to their college campuses, which was part of their moving and storage agreements. These students attended school at the State University of New York at Canton, Cortland, Geneseo, Morrisville, Oneonta, Oswego, and Potsdam, as well as Colgate University, Hamilton College, Hobart and William Smith Colleges and Syracuse University.

Having learned through social media that the company had gone out of business, consumers contacted the Attorney General’s Office for assistance. Today, the Attorney General’s Office seeks a Court Order prohibiting Jagodzinski from continuing to engage in deceptive, fraudulent, and illegal business practices, and requiring him to pay restitution totaling $3,431 to aggrieved consumers, as well as costs and civil penalties to the State of New York. Additionally, the Order would ban Jagodzinski from engaging in the moving and storage business in New York until he pays a $15,000 performance bond. The bond will protect consumers and ensure that they can file a claim against Jagodzinski to get their money back if he fails to provide the service.

The petition filed today in Onondaga County Supreme Court alleges that Jagodzinski engaged in deceptive business practices and false advertising by promoting his business as a New York State Licensed Moving and Storage company. Jagodzinzki promised that his company would handle consumers’ possessions in a professional, responsible, and secure manner, would contact consumers by email on August 10, 2017 to set up delivery dates at the campuses, and would provide automatic insurance against damage and loss – but failed to meet these promises. Additionally, Jagodzinski allegedly used an alias on his website, identifying “Matthew C. Benjamin” as the business owner, and inflated the size of the company, stating that there were 78 employees.  

The Attorney General’s investigation revealed that Jagodzinski had been sued in January 2017 by the owner of the Green Hills storage facility, who sought to evict him from the premises. In February 2017, Jagodzinski signed a settlement agreement that required him to remove all stored items from the facility by April 30, 2017. Jagodzinski did not remove the stored items from the property. In May 2017, Jagodzinski transported additional students’ possessions to the Green Hills warehouse. Onondaga Town Justice Kerr signed an Order of Enforcement requiring Jagodzinski to remove all stored property from the warehouse by July 15, 2017. Jagodzinski did not remove the property and never notified his customers of this Order requiring that their stored property be removed.

After Not My Parents Garage shut down, the owner of Green Hills storage facility allowed students to retrieve their items. This arrangement presented a significant hurdle for many students who did not own vehicles and neither lived near nor attended school in Syracuse. The Attorney General’s office reached out to each college campus to help facilitate efforts to retrieve the students’ property and the colleges and universities assisted by sending staff and vehicles to retrieve students’ items. However, some students incurred additional expenses retrieving their personal items. At least two students are missing some or all of the items they stored.

Consumers who have not already filed a complaint with the Attorney General’s office and believe Brian Jagodzinski may have defrauded them should file a complaint online or by calling the consumer helpline at 1-800-771-7755.

This case was handled by Assistant Attorney General Judith C. Malkin with the assistance of Investigators Andrea Hughes and Alexandra Pratt and Consumer Frauds Representative Jean Ryan. The Syracuse Regional Office is led by Assistant Attorney General In Charge Ed Thompson. The Division of Regional Offices is led by Executive Deputy Attorney General for Regional Affairs Marty Mack.