South Jersey pair charged with bilking hundreds of consumers in fake travel deals
A Burlington County man and his wife are accused of ripping off hundreds of consumers through a scheme involving travel companies they ran.
Daryl Turner and Robyn Bernstein have been indicted on charges of theft by deception, conspiracy and money laundering.
The couple pitched phony vacation packages and collected fees for airfares and cruises that were never delivered, New Jersey Attorney General Jeff Chiesa said.
"Like a pair of old-school con artists, Turner and Bernstein allegedly operated eight different travel companies in a little over four years, closing one company down and opening another in a new location whenever they felt the heat because consumers learned about their fraud," he said Tuesday.
Detective Richard Loufik with the state Division of Criminal Justice says consumers should check on travel companies that send them offers or risk losing a lot of money.
"Social media is one of the best tools out there now. You have a few people that are scammed and right away they're putting that out there," Loufik said. "That kind of gets the word out to help people beware more than anything."
Chiesa says the couple used more than $700,000 of their victims' money to buy a luxury home in Marlton.
Authorities have put a lien on the home and seized the defendants' three luxury vehicles and bank accounts.
Chiesa says that could be used to pay for some of the victims' losses.