Travel Company Owner Charged With Stealing More Than $75,000 from Consumers for Vacation Packages and Travel Benefits That Were Never Provided
Defendant Already Barred from Conducting Business in NJ
for No Less Than 5 Years
NEWARK - Attorney General Paula T. Dow and Criminal Justice Director Stephen J. Taylor announced that the Division of Criminal Justice executed a search warrant today and arrested Daryl Turner, the owner of numerous vacation travel club companies with a long history of consumer complaints in New Jersey, for allegedly stealing more than $75,000 from consumers for vacation packages and travel benefits that were never provided.
According to Director Taylor, Daryl T. Turner, 39, of Cherry Hill, was arrested at his home and was charged with second-degree theft by deception.
It is alleged that since 2008, Turner, through his vacation travel companies, took payments from numerous consumers and then repeatedly failed to provide the contracted-for travel packages, or refund the money. Turner also allegedly failed to deliver various promotional items promised to consumers in return for their attendance at promotional seminars. It is further alleged that Turner used the corporate logos of airlines, hotels, and car rental companies in promotional materials without those companies' permission.
Under terms of a February 2011 agreement with the New Jersey Office of the Attorney General and the New Jersey Division of Consumer Affairs, Turner is barred from doing business in the state for no less than five years and cannot open or operate any such business in the future without state approval. Under the agreement, Turner is responsible for over $2,188,000 in consumer restitution and $478,000 in civil penalties. Turner also is required to reimburse the state $419,780.10 for its attorneys? fees and investigative costs.
The vacation travel companies named as defendants in the state?s civil lawsuit included Dreamworks Vacation Club, Dreamworks Vacations, Bentley Travel, Modern Destinations Unlimited, Blue Water, Vacation Clubs LLC d/b/a La Bonne Vie Travel, Five Points Travel Company, Dream Vacations International, Inc., and Away We Go Promotions, LLC.
The Division of Consumer Affairs last month filed a six-count Complaint in Burlington County Superior Court that charges Turner, individually and d/b/a Reservations, his wife Robyn B. Bernstein, and their Marlton-based company, Travel Deals Limited Liability Company, as well as VIP Executives, LLC, with violating the New Jersey Consumer Fraud Act and Advertising Regulations by failing to fulfill promises of complimentary cruises and airfare used to induce attendance at sales presentations, and failing to provide the luxury vacation packages at discounted prices represented during the sales presentations.
The charge is merely an accusation and the defendant is presumed innocent until proven guilty. Because the charge is an indictable offense, the allegations must be presented to a state grand jury for potential indictment. Second-degree crimes carry a maximum sentence of 10 years in state prison and a criminal fine of $150,000.
Detective Richard Loufik and Deputy Attorney General Mark Kurzawa coordinated the investigation for the Division of Criminal Justice. Deputy Attorneys General Lorraine K. Rak, Chief of the Consumer Fraud Prosecution Section, and Gina M. Betts represented Division of Consumer Affairs in the state?s lawsuit against Turner. Investigator Murat Botas in the Office of Consumer Protection led the investigation for the Division of Consumer Affairs.