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Couple Indicted for Travel Club Scam

Travelers Today       By    Maxine Wally

Updated: Apr 23, 2013 03:27 PM EDT

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Frustrated traveler
Did this guy just find out he got scammed by the modern day Bonnie and Clyde?(Photo : Reuters)

Daryl Turner and wife Robyn Bernstein have been indicted for scamming travelers into purchasing fake vacation deals they sold online.

Under the guise of a series of travel clubs, the modern day Bonnie and Clyde ensnared tourists by flaunting deals that were too good to be true. Travelers paid up nonetheless, and Turner and Bernstein used the hundreds of thousands of dollars to buy a luxury home in Burlington County, New Jersey and bulk up their bank accounts.

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

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The two were on trial for one count each of first-degree conspiracy, one count each of first-degree money laundering and two counts of second-degree theft by deception.

For these infractions, they faced up to 20 years in prison, along with penalty fines of almost $1 million dollars, which put a dent in the money they schemed so hard to accrue.

Additionally, they were charged with several counts of third-degree tax evasion, as they did not file or fudged their tax returns while they scammed would-be travelers.

Apparently, Turner and Bernstein laundered upwards of $700,000 from their victims, by way of two personal bank accounts.

The Attorney General's Office has been following the two culprits for more than four years. The state claimed that Turner and Bernstein would start a company, shut it down and re-open another under a different name.

Turner and Bernstein opened at least 11 fake travel businesses, named Dreamworks Vacation Club, Bentley Travel, Modern Destinations Unlimited, Blue Water Gateway, Five Points Travel and Vacation Clubs LLC, among others.

Each of the aforementioned companies offered huge discounts for fictitious vacations, if the travelers signed up for a club membership that ranged in price from $2,200 to $6,500.

Tourists never received neither hide nor hair of the phantom vacation packages. 

Investigations will continue until the two go to trial.

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