Reporting Jim Donovan
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – They wanted to take a trip, but instead got taken for a ride! You heard about it first here on CBS 3, would-be-travelers that paid for vacation packages that they never received. Now, a 3 On Your Side follow-up. Consumer Reporter Jim Donovan tells us that the man behind the scheme is now behind bars.
All Shirley Brooks Boyd had to do was listen to a travel presentation at an Egg Harbor, New Jersey office building and she’d get a trip for free. But there was one catch. She says, “You have to pay the taxes separately and you have to pay taxes on the airlines, so that seemed reasonable to me.”
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Joe Holden and his wife Kathleen thought the same thing. He says, “I never suspected anything when we went down.” But after shelling out $598 to Away We Go Promotions, Shirley and the Holden’s never got their trips. Shirley says, “Those people took my money and kept going.” While Kathleen says, “You just can’t trust what people tell you.”
The New Jersey Attorney General’s office says that using names like Away We Go, Dreamworks Vacations, Bentley Travel, Blue Water, La Bonne Vie Travel and Five Points Travel Company, Cherry Hill resident Daryl Turner stole thousands of dollars from consumers.
According to Tom Calcagni, Acting Director of the New Jersey Division of Consumer Affairs says, “We heard from hundreds of people that couldn’t book a vacation even though they had paid all of the money upfront.”
When 3 On Your Side visited Turner’s home several weeks ago, no one answered the door. But today he had some other visitors. The New Jersey Division of Criminal Justice executed a search warrant and arrested Turner, charging him with second degree theft by deception.
In February the New Jersey Attorney General’s office barred Daryl Turner from doing business in the state for five years and he agreed to pay over $2 million dollars in customer restitution. But just last month the state filed a six count complaint in which they claim Turner was operating other travel companies using a new batch of business names.
Daryl Turner is now in the Burlington County jail. Bail has been set at $150,000.
Reported by Jim Donovan, CBS 3