Bogus travel packages sold to victims

Total losses were more than $12 million

Author: Jodi Mohrmann, Managing editor of special projects, jmohrmann@wjxt.com
Published On: Dec 20 2013 04:50:59 AM EST   Updated On: Dec 24 2013 06:20:00 AM EST

Imagine finding a Florida "staycation" for $300 or a travel package to the Bahamas for just $500.

“These packages were deeply discounted. Normally, trips like these would cost around $1,000 or so,” explained US Postal Inspector Brian Haraway.

What sounded too good to be true was in fact too good to be true.

"There were many instances where victims found out just one or two days before that there were no travel packages and they were deeply disappointed," said Haraway.

In fact, in this case, more than 24,000 bogus travel packages were sold nationwide. Total losses were more than $12 million.

"There was another instance where families had planned a family reunion and they found out there was no packages and it affected the entire family," said Haraway.

Postal inspectors began tracking numerous complaints.

"The business was under surveillance, a search was conducted at the business location and we were able to follow the scam and found out who was victimized," explained Haraway.

The company was shut down. The main suspect in the case was sentenced to 10 years in prison and ordered to pay restitution of over $167,000.