The state has sued a Windham moving company whose owner has expressed support for the Capitol riots of Jan. 6, 2021, alleging efforts to prevent customers from posting negative reviews about the business on social media violate state and federal laws.

Attorney General Aaron Frey’s office sued Liberty Bell Moving and Storage LLC and its owner, Kevin V. Finkenaur. on Friday in U.S. District Court in Portland.

Finkenaur allegedly offers a reduced rate to customers who agree not to use social media to criticize its services and threatens to sue customers who do. The lawsuit is seeking hefty fines that could total more than $100,000 from the business and an order that would prevent the practices from continuing.

The company is violating the federal Consumer Review Fairness Act of 2016, the consumer protection regulations in the U.S. Code to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administrator and state regulations under Maine’s Unfair Trade Practices law, according to the complaint.

The office of Frey, a Democrat, declined to comment on the pending litigation. Finkenaur has not yet been served with the complaint, court filings show. No attorney has entered an appearance on the business’ behalf. Finkenaur did not immediately return a request for comment Wednesday.

While Liberty Bell is based in Windham, it has eight other locations between Bangor and Saco, according to information on its website.

Liberty Bell offers three types of moving services — full valuation protection, released valuation protection and no valuation protection. Full valuation covers the cost of damage, loss or theft for items being moved, the complaint said. It does not include a clause concerning the posting of negative reviews.

The other two offer reduced fees for coverage and no coverage for the loss, damage or theft items, respectively. Both include a provision banning the posting of negative reviews, the lawsuit said. Customers who sign up for lesser insurance coverage, are subject to a $1,000 “defamation management fee” if the negative comments are not removed.

“Rather than engaging in constructive responses to negative reviews by customers, for several years and continuing to the present [Liberty Bell and Finkenaur] have had a regular practice of actively combating negative reviews by threatening customers with liability, lawsuits, and penalties for posting negative reviews of Liberty Bell’s business, employees, and/or services,” the complaint said.

The threats to customers allegedly are communicated by email, using the address The firm does not employ an in-house attorney nor does it appear a lawyer actually sent the messages, the complaint alleges.

Finkenaur has called out the firm’s critics on the company’s Facebook page, posting Tuesday: “TO ALL YOU [American flag emoji] HATERS [American flag emoji] …REPEAT AFTER ME! LIBERTY BELL MOVING AND STORAGE IS MAINES BEST MOVERS!!!!!!!!! [heart and thumbs up emojis].”

A supporter of former President Donald Trump, Finkenaur has posted about his political views on the company’s Facebook page including his support for the Jan. 6 rioters who stormed the Capitol in an attempt to stop the certification of Joe Biden’s election as president.