Cuba is “hot” – US based travel firms are trying to get the destination opened up for anyone to visit. All this Cuban buzz has apparently created a bit of a market for selling fake trips. One man in Southern California actually managed to sell 41 of them before he was caught.
The 33 year old “criminal mastermind” advertised his trips in religious magazines and managed to scam people out of $154,000. He spent his earnings on a new Mercedes and a divorce lawyer.
After people handed over their money, they were told that the US Treasury Department had canceled the trips, and he was able to convince them that they were not eligible for refunds but that they could take the trip at a later date.
His scam ended up costing him dearly – he’s been sentenced to five years in jail, and will have to repay the victims of his fraud.