The state has settled a lawsuit with a Windham-based moving company that illegally prevented some customers from posting negative reviews online and threatened others into removing existing negative reviews. 

An investigation by the Office of the Attorney General found that Liberty Bell Moving and Storage Inc. and its owner, Kevin Finkenaur, violated the federal Consumer Review Fairness Act, the Maine Unfair Trade Practices Act and regulations for businesses that engage in interstate moving operations.

As part of the settlement, Finkenaur must pay $125,000 and “refrain from engaging in a number of illegal business practices,” including no longer using a misleading email address posing as Liberty Bell’s attorney.  

According to the AG’s office, Finkenaur used the email address to threaten customers who left negative reviews with legal action or stiff fines. 

The settlement also stipulates that Liberty Bell’s contracts no longer require customers to absolve the company of all claims before service, which violates Maine law, the attorney general said.

“It is ironic that a company named for an iconic symbol of freedom would concern itself with violating the free speech and other legally entitled rights of consumers,” Attorney General Aaron Frey said in a statement. “I hope this case will remind consumers that no business can require you to waive your right to leave honest reviews of businesses and products.”


According to the suit, filed in federal court in Portland in July, some of Liberty Bell Moving and Storage’s contracts said customers weren’t allowed to post negative reviews and would have to pay hefty fines if they did.

 That is contrary to both federal and state laws.

The suit said that most contracts with Liberty Bell Moving include a prohibition against customers posting “ANY NEGATIVE REVIEWS against Liberty Bell Moving and Storage whatsoever” and said bad reviews will result in “a $1,000 defamation management fee” if not removed within three days. 

Liberty Bell’s contract, the suit said, says the company will seek $2,500 for each day bad reviews are left up, along with lawyer’s fees of “upwards of $9,500.”

According to the suit, customers who posted negative reviews got “threatening emails” from an “” email address and the sender was sometimes identified as “attorney, Liberty Bell Moving & Storage,” “Heinrich,” or “Reinhard.”

However, the suit said, there’s no indication that Liberty Bell Moving has an in-house attorney, and the AG’s office said there’s no record of an attorney with either a first or last name of “Heinrich” or “Reinhard” being licensed to practice law in Maine.


The suit also said the company has “recently leveraged threats against Liberty Bell’s customers to induce the customers to remove negative reviews, despite the customers’ protestations that the reviews were honest and legitimate assessments of their experience with Liberty Bell.”

The threats of “punitive damages,” defamation “fees” and court fees are unenforceable or legally and factually baseless, the suit said. 

Besides Windham, Liberty Bell has eight other locations between Bangor and Saco, according to its website.

Finkenaur is required to provide written notice of the judgment to every consumer who left a negative review and was told to remove it over the last six years. It was not immediately clear how many people he will have to contact. 

Finkenaur’s attorneys did not respond to an email Thursday.

Finkenaur previously gained attention on social media for posts claiming that he was part of the crowd that marched on the Capitol in Washington on Jan. 6, 2021. 

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