Dec. 9 2015 12:16 AM

Mover arrested, charged with motor carrier fraud

A businessman who has allegedly been operating his moving business in violation of local ordinances has been arrested and charged with breaking the state’s motor carrier act, according to records from 54A District Court.

The businessman, Jae Burnham, was arrested Nov. 24 on a charge of motor carrier fraud/kickbacks, a misdemeanor that makes it a crime to “knowingly and willfully, by any means, fraudulently seek to evade or defeat rules as promulgated under this act for motor contract carriers.” If he is found guilty, he faces up to six months in jail and/or a $500 fine. He was released on $3,000 bail.

As City Pulse first reported, Burnham has been operating his moving business, allegedly in violation of city of Lansing zoning ordinances from a home on Wabash Road on the city’s near southeast side. Neighbors have been complaining about the operations since May.

Potentially there are more problems awaiting Burnham, 45, and his U Save Moving and Storage company. Lansing School District officials sent Burnham a letter last week notifying him his trucks would be towed if they are left in the parking lot of Forest View Elementary School again. The school is around the corner from where he has been running his business.

“This letter is to notify you that parking any of your vehicles, personal or commercial is prohibited on Lansing School District property,” wrote Cordelia Black, public safety director for the district. The letter was dated Dec. 1. “Should any of your vehicles be found on any property owned by the Lansing School District in the future, they will be immediately towed at your expense.”

These are Burnham’s most recent troubles.

City Pulse’s investigation revealed that Burnham was operating his moving company without authorization by the state of Michigan, a misdemeanor. State Police confirmed he was not properly authorized by either the state or the federal government to run a moving company. A letter from the Michigan State Police to Burnham, dated Friday, shows Burnham has since been approved for authority to operate a moving company. Those records show that on Thursday, Burnham applied for and obtained insurance, as required by law.

He was charged with violating state law, as well as having functional issues with his equipment, in Eaton County in 2013, and in 2014 agreed to plead guilty to the equipment charge. The prosecutor dismissed the operating without authorization charge.

His former landlord in Delta Township was also cited for Burnham’s operating a moving company from his rented home there, in violation of the township’s zoning laws.