Sections

LIC travel agency ordered to refund disatisfied clients

Share on TwitterTweet
Share on Facebook
Subscribe

Get our stories in your inbox, free.

Like TimesLedger on Facebook.

Swindled customers of a Long Island City travel agency will receive refunds, thanks to a ruling from a Manhattan State Supreme Court Judge, state Attorney General Eliot Spitzer said.

Justice Sherry Klein Heitler ordered officers of P.U. Travel, known to customers as Plus Ultra Tours, to repay the dozens of customers who paid them for airfare to Spain and Portugal and other services but never received the services, Spitzer said.

One customer traveled all the way to Spain before realizing that his return ticket, which had been purchased through Plus Ultra Tours, was not valid, state officials said.

“The failure of this company to honor its commitments ruined many people’s plans,” Spitzer said. “The court’s order provides restitution and establishes reform that will protect other consumers.”

In December, after customers approached the attorney general with complaints against the agency, Spitzer filed a lawsuit alleging that Plus Ultra officers closed their business last June without notifying customers or offering refunds for pending services. Spitzer also said that Plus Ultra officers Robert Perez and Anicento Perez attempted to transfer money paid by those customers to various bank accounts in order to avoid refunding any fees.

In all, 81 consumers have filed complaints against the company and claim to have been defrauded, and Heitler recognized during the proceedings that records revealed at least 100 additional customers who may have been defrauded, according to a spokeswoman for the attorney general’s office.

In addition to forcing the refunds, Heitler ordered another hearing to determine if Robert Perez and Anicento Perez will be personally responsible for damages caused to customers as a result of the agency’s closing and to consider potential civil penalties, Spitzer said.

In a December investigation, Spitzer’s office uncovered $240,000 in Plus Ultra funds located in several bank accounts, he said. The attorney general obtained a restraining order to freeze the bank accounts and prevent any movement or withdrawal of the funds.

“We expect all of the $240,000 will go to repaying the customers,” attorney general spokeswoman Christine Pritchard said, adding that $100,000 found in Plus Ultra officers’ bank accounts has also been frozen and could potentially be used to help pay the refunds, given the judge’s approval.

All customers of the travel agency were asked to pay either with cash or check, denying clients the opportunity to seek refunds through their credit card companies, Pritchard said.

Reach Reporter Dan Trudeau by e-mail at Timesledger@aol.com, or call 718-229-0300, Ext. 173.

Posted 7:15 pm, October 10, 2011
Today’s news:
Share on TwitterTweet
Share on Facebook
Subscribe

Get our stories in your inbox, free.

Like TimesLedger on Facebook.

Reader feedback

Enter your comment below

By submitting this comment, you agree to the following terms:

You agree that you, and not TimesLedger.com or its affiliates, are fully responsible for the content that you post. You agree not to post any abusive, obscene, vulgar, slanderous, hateful, threatening or sexually-oriented material or any material that may violate applicable law; doing so may lead to the removal of your post and to your being permanently banned from posting to the site. You grant to TimesLedger.com the royalty-free, irrevocable, perpetual and fully sublicensable license to use, reproduce, modify, adapt, publish, translate, create derivative works from, distribute, perform and display such content in whole or in part world-wide and to incorporate it in other works in any form, media or technology now known or later developed.

CNG: Community Newspaper Group