MADISON, Wis. (Legal Newsline) – Wisconsin Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen obtained a $4.8 million judgment on Tuesday against a travel club business and its principals to resolve allegations of deceptive marketing practices.
The Litchfield, Ill.-based Travel Services Inc.; its principals, Christy Spensberger and William Bailey; and its Wisconsin-based marketers, Going Places Travel Corporation, Perry Ruiz and Lisa Ruiz, allegedly engaged in deceptive practices when marketing memberships in their travel clubs to Wisconsin consumers. The defendants allegedly provided documents to consumers that contained untrue, deceptive or misleading representations regarding the discounts on travel available to club members.
Travel Services also allegedly violated Wisconsin’s prize notice law by failing to make required disclosures in the marketing postcards it sent to consumers.
“Businesses that deceive consumers into parting with their hard-earned money should know that the state of Wisconsin does not tolerate such behavior,” Van Hollen said. “This judgment against both the operators and marketers of membership travel clubs sends a strong message to would-be fraudsters – if you violate our consumer protection laws, we will hold you accountable.”
Under the terms of judgment, Outagamie County Circuit Judge Dee Dyer ordered the defendants to pay more than $4.8 million, including approximately $3.8 million in restitution for consumers, $841,599 in forfeitures and assessments and $215,054 for legal costs. The judgment also imposes a permanent injunction against the defendants that limits the scope of their future business activities.