Reporting Jim Donovan
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — He operated travel companies that opened and closed at the blink of an eye and many of his customers say they experienced the same thing, they paid for vacations that they never received. Now 3-On Your Side Consumer Reporter Jim Donovan tells us the man behind the scheme is now behind bars.
3 On Your Side has been following this story for months. First we heard complaints about travel companies named Blue Water, Dreamworks Vacations and Away We Go. Then suddenly new names started popping up like Travel Deals, Reservations, and V.I.P. Executives. The State of New Jersey says there is one common thread a man named Daryl Turner. (see related story)
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Little did Barbara Mackey know when she listened to a vacation presentation by a company named Travel Deals at a Marlton, New Jersey office complex, that she wasn’t going anywhere. She says, “We just wanted the free vacation, I hate to say it, but it’s true.” After shelling out $598 to a company called Reservations for cruise port charges and airline taxes, that “free trip” never materialized. Barbara says, “I thought it was real and I’m a skeptic, and I was fooled, they are pro’s.” And 3 On Your Side spoke with others that had similar stories.
The New Jersey Attorney General alleges that travel company operator Daryl Turner stole thousands of dollars from consumers for vacation packages that were never provided. Yesterday the 39-year old Turner was arrested at his Cherry Hill home and charged with second degree theft by deception.
Several weeks ago we told you that Turner, who operated numerous travel companies, was barred from doing business in New Jersey for five years and had agreed to pay consumers back over 2 million dollars in restitution. Instead the state says he merely started operating under different business names and after saying he was pretty much broke he and his wife purchased luxury cars instead of paying people back.
In addition to the people that paid fees for “free trips” that they never materialized, other customers paid thousands of dollars for full travel packages they never received. It all started with a post card luring people in with promises of a free vacation. Turner continues to be held in the Burlington County Jail. Bail currently stands at $75,000.
Reported by Jim Donovan, CBS 3