Arizona homeowners accuse estate sale company of selling items and keeping money
Some say they are owed thousands of dollars.
PHOENIX (3TV/CBS 5) - Looking at family photos helps Jeanne Burton and her sisters remember just how much their parents loved each other.
“This was Disneyland in 2001,” Burton said looking at one vacation photo. “They were just a unit. They were always together and always holding hands. They just loved each other so much.” But their mom and dad both passed away within 82 days of each other and left their Valley home to Jeanne and her sisters.
Over 47 years of owning this home, you can imagine just how much the couple had accumulated inside. “We started working and moving stuff. There were all kinds of files, and I think she kept every greeting card she ever got,” Burton said. Overwhelmed, Burton and her family decided to hire an estate sale company to clear out the house and sell all of their parents’ personal belongings. According to this contract, the company would keep a 35% commission on everything sold and the rest would go to Jeanne and her family.
When asked the name of the company and who they spoke with, Burton said, “It was Toni Geiger, and she owned a business called Loving Hands Senior Transitions.” Jeanne’s family says this friendly-looking face sold all their mom and dad’s belongings and kept the money, estimated by the family to be around $15,000. For months, they say Toni Geiger has been dodging them. “It was always in the back of our minds that we would go as far, and if we couldn’t we were going to call Gary Harper.”
On Your Side discovered that Toni Geiger and her Loving Hands may not be so loving. We found several other victims who say Toni Geiger held an estate sale for them and they never received the proceeds. And if they did, it was very little. “I have no idea where the money could be,” Ron Middlebrook said. He lives in Mexico now, and before selling his Valley home, he hired Toni Geiger to sell all of his belongings.
Middlebrook says he was anticipating that he would get at least $13,000 after Toni Geiger’s commission. Instead, Ron says she wired him $2,800 and never provided paperwork of anything that sold or didn’t sell. Ron said, “I don’t think I was defrauded, I was defrauded. After all the cards have been played, it was a scam.”
On Your Side went looking for Toni Geiger and came across a house associated with her name. When someone opened the door, it was discovered that it was a relative’s house who claimed he doesn’t speak to Geiger. The next stop was to drive to Prescott Valley where Toni Geiger’s name is associated with another home.
A woman outside the Prescott Valley home said “Good luck! She (Toni Geiger) owes me $1,200″ to the On Your Side team. The woman said Geiger used to rent a room from her and skipped out on $1,200 in rent. Seeing a pattern in Toni Geiger reportedly owing people money, On Your Side continued to pursue her until she eventually sent the team an email that said the following:
Burton and the other victims say they’ve never heard anything from Geiger about a payment plan. Geiger remains “on the move” and is opening another business called, ironically, On The Move. The business reportedly specializes in moving senior citizens. Burton and her family said they hope others out there won’t get duped like they did. “How do you do that to a family that just lost their parents and are grieving?” Burton said. “It’s a betrayal. We were betrayed and stabbed in the back, really.”
Each of the victims I spoke with have all filed police reports against Geiger. If there’s a follow up, On Your Side will have another report.
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