N.J. Consumer Affairs files second lawsuit against Marlton-based Travel Deals Limited Liability Co. | Economy | NewJerseyNewsroom.com -- Your State. Your News.

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N.J. Consumer Affairs files second lawsuit against Marlton-based Travel Deals Limited Liability Co.

NJStateSealDaryl Turner again accused of defrauding vacation seekers

The state Division of Consumer Affairs has filed a second lawsuit against travel company owner Daryl T. Turner, who in February settled a multi-million dollar lawsuit with the agency alleging a pattern of deceptive business practices carried out by his numerous vacation travel membership companies.

The six-count complaint filed in state Superior Court in Mount Holly charges Turner, his wife Robyn B. Bernstein, and their Marlton-based company, Travel Deals Limited Liability Co., as well as VIP Executives, with violating the state 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 those events.

On Tuesday, Judge Michael J. Hogan, temporarily enjoined Turner and Bernstein from transferring or disposing of any assets related to the matter, and specifically enjoined Turner from any involvement in the business operations of Travel Deals or from advertisement or selling vacation packages.

In a separate action, Consumer Affairs attorneys and Turner are scheduled to appear in Superior Court in Morristown on Friday, for argument on the state’s earlier-filed motion alleging that he is in violation of the February settlement.

In addition from barring Turner from engaging in the travel business in New Jersey for at least five years, and from operating any such business without state approval, that consent judgment required him to repay consumers nearly $2.2 million for vacation packages and/or complimentary items never provided. Consumer Affairs has alleged that its recent discovery of substantial undisclosed assets held by Turner, including several luxury vehicles, belies his sworn statement that he is unable to meet any portion of his restitution obligation.

“As we allege in our lawsuit, Turner is in clear violation of his settlement with the state,” Attorney General Paula T. Dow said Wednesday. “Every indication points to Travel Deals being yet another of Turner’s companies that dangles too-good-to-be-true offers of free cruises and international vacations in front of consumers, defrauds consumers of their hard-earned money, and then leaves them with little more than heartache and frustration.”

To date, Consumer Affairs has received complaints from 15 consumers, the majority of whom paid between $2,500 and $5,194 for vacation packages, which as alleged in the state’s new lawsuit, turned out to be essentially worthless.

The alleged scheme is similar to that which was the subject of Consumer Affairs’ previous lawsuit against Turner. According to that lawsuit, filed in 2009, Turner and his various vacation travel companies took payment from consumers and then repeatedly failed to provide the contracted-for vacation packages, or refund the money. Turner also failed to deliver various promotional items promised to consumers in return for their attendance at promotional seminars. More than 670 affected consumers were identified in that lawsuit, which named Turner and his travel companies as defendants, namely Dreamworks Vacation Club, Dreamworks Vacations, Dreamworks, Five Points Travel Co., Bentley Travel, Modern Destinations Unlimited, Blue Water, Vacation Clubs, Bonne Vie Travel, Dream Vacations International Inc., and Away We Go Promotions.

“Although Travels Deals is a relatively new company, the defendants’ unconscionable business practices are no different than those of Turner’s prior enterprises: bait-and-switch promotional gimmicks, empty promises of deep-discount luxury vacation packages, and costly and unconscionable cancellation policies,” Acting Consumer Affairs Director Thomas R. Calcagni said. “By these latest actions, we are holding Daryl Turner to his $2.2 million obligation payable to consumers. And where it seems that Turner has been slow to catch on, we’re once again spelling it out in simple terms for these defendants – if you rip off our citizens, you will pay.”

In addition to consumer restitution and reimbursement of the state’s investigative costs and attorneys’ fees, the state is seeking assessment of civil penalties against the defendants. Under the state Consumer Fraud Act, and in light of the judgment resolving the earlier lawsuit, any violation would constitute a second or succeeding violation, subjecting Turner to enhanced civil penalties of up to $20,000 per violation.

Under the order entered by Judge Hogan on Tuesday, the parties are to appear in court on July 18, at which time he will hear argument on the state’s request for a preliminary injunction, appointment of a receiver, and asset freeze. The temporary restraints will remain in effect until then.

Deputy Attorney General Lorraine K. Rak, Chief of the Consumer Fraud Prosecution Section, is handling the case. Consumer Affairs Investigator Murat Botas is conducting the investigation.

—TOM HESTER SR., NEWJERSEYNEWSROOM.COM

 
Comments (4)
4 Wednesday, 19 June 2013 11:26
Bobby Layneview
Dear dumbasses . . . the membership works, so USE IT stupid. The complimentary gifts are sometimes difficult to fulfill. Use your damn membership!! Crybabies. -- Bobby
3 Saturday, 29 September 2012 09:08
ANDREW hERDAN
I was trapped by this same scam and notified the NJ Office of consumer affairs. This was filed on 2/26/2012. I have heard nothing since that date even though I understand the matter has been handled in the courts. Why have I not received any notifications or funds. I lost well over $6,200, and intend to continue battling to get my stolen money refunded. Who is going to help consumers like myself??
2 Tuesday, 26 June 2012 09:13
Mark Fleming
DARYL,
My wife and I went there in Marlton for presentation and signed up (that I should have not done that in the first place!!) and we received free cruise package. First my wife got ahold of person from cruise agency and said it's no longer in business. Then she called Travel Deals and was told that Travel Deals were no longer in business with company who does the cruise, then was told that we will get other cruise. My wife called other company which was provided by Travel Deals and the company told my wife that the company never heard of or doing business with Travel Deals. We went back to Travel Deals within couple week to confront with person at Travel Deals. Upon our arrival in Marlton, we saw that business place where they leased at were board up and no one is there.

You've scammed me and my wife! We want our money back! We will find you no matter what and I will not be stopped until we get our every penny BACK!!
1 Monday, 11 July 2011 11:55
tazz
Is this person ever going to pay restitution, and perhaps go to jail for is illegal travel scams, he has been in court system for over two years and scamming the whole time while under watch?

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