State cracks down on bogus travel clubs
The Colorado Attorney General’s Office has obtained a $7 million judgment against a Colorado family that was operating two bogus travel clubs.
The clubs, called Sea to Ski Vacations and Traditions Travel Group, promised members deep discounts at hotels, airlines and timeshares that they were actually booking online, which would have cost members nothing to do themselves.
Three of the four owners of the clubs — Stephen Wunder, Andrew Wunder, Bethany Wunder and Christian Wunder — have fled the state and are believed to be living in Austin, Texas, Chandler, Arizona, and Midway, Utah.
Not only has a Denver district judge ordered them to pay for defrauding their customers, but they each have been barred from owning or working for any company that sells timeshares, condominium reservations, hotel reservations, airline tickets or cruise line reservations.
“These individuals cannot be trusted to run a business,” Attorney General Cynthia Coffman said Wednesday in a statement. “The court’s $7 million judgment and order barring them from working in this industry again will help protect Coloradans, however, I am concerned that these defendants may be continuing to operate in other states.”
Coffman’s office said some members of the family, who initially operated their bogus clubs out of Broomfield, are continuing to charge customers’ credit cards using a web of companies and aliases to mask their business activities.
The office said the family registered and operated businesses in California, Arizona, Colorado, Utah, South Dakota and Texas to hide their identities.
In one recent incident, the Wunders charged a New York couple’s credit card for unauthorized purchases using an Austin-based business called Member Club Services and a Los Angeles business called Top of the Line Productions.
In another incident, the family registered a Park City, Utah, business called Condos and Cruises Worldwide with the Utah Secretary of State’s Office under the name of their incapacitated mother.
Coffman said the Wunders’ sales pitch includes using postcards claiming that recipients have won free airline tickets or other prizes, using the logos of known airlines without their knowledge or permission.
Coffman’s office is asking anyone who knows anything about any of the Wunders’ business dealings or their exact whereabouts to contact her office at stopfraudcolorado.gov or by calling 1-800-222-4444.