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Lawsuit: Billerica Moving Company Auctioned Off Deployed Air Force Sergeant's Belongings, Military Awards

BILLERICA (CBS) -- A Billerica moving and storage company is in hot water again. The Justice Department is suing Father & Son Moving & Storage for the way it treated a customer who is a member of the United States Air Force.

The lawsuit states that Father & Son didn't get a court order before it auctioned off everything in two storage units belonging to a Technical Sergeant while he was deployed overseas. Federal authorities say that's illegal under the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act.

Among the sergeant's items sold by Father & Son at auction were military gear and mementos belonging to a cousin who was killed in action, his grandfather's military service medals and personal photographs.

Read The Lawsuit

"This servicemember was called overseas to serve our country and returned home to find his personal possessions, family heirlooms and military awards auctioned off to the highest bidder," said U.S. Attorney Andrew E. Lelling in a statement. "That is unacceptable. We will continue to protect the rights of servicemembers who dedicate their lives to preserving our security and freedom."

father son door
The Father & Son storage facility (WBZ-TV)

Prosecutors say the sergeant told a Father & Son agent that he was in the military and wore his Air Force uniform while company workers packed up his belongings at Hanscom Air Force Base. The lawsuit seeks damages against Father & Son for the value of the auctioned items and to prevent the company from further illegal auctions.

Father & Son has been the subject of several I-Team investigations over the years and accused of holding customers' belongings hostage while demanding more money. Attorney General Maura Healey took legal action against the company in 2017.

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