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N.J. couple charged with running fraudulent travel business

April 24, 2013 at 2:05 AM   |   Comments

TRENTON, N.J., April 24 (UPI) -- A New Jersey couple have been charged with defrauding customers of travel companies they operated of hundreds of thousands of dollars, authorities said Tuesday.

Daryl Turner, 41, and his wife, Robyn Bernstein, 43, of Marlton, N.J., were indicted Friday on charges that include conspiracy, money laundering and theft by deception, Attorney General Jeffrey Chiesa said. Chiesa said the charges followed a lengthy investigation by his office, the state Division of Taxation and the U.S. Postal Service.

"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 of their fraud," Chiesa said. "The defendants allegedly tricked people out of their hard-earned money, promising vacation deals that they knew did not exist. Because of the large sums of money involved, which they allegedly laundered, they will face lengthy prison sentences if convicted."

Investigators said the couple would advertise "complimentary" vacations and cruises and then subject people who responded to high-pressure sales pitches. They would allegedly promise deep discounts on cruises and luxury resorts, although they did all their booking through a Georgia travel company they knew would not be able to deliver the kind of accommodations they described.

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