Bryan Cohen Oct. 28, 2013, 6:24pm

RALEIGH, N.C. (Legal Newsline) - North Carolina Attorney General Roy Cooper announced a consent judgment Monday with a vacation promotion company that allegedly misled North Carolinians into paying deposits for purportedly free vacations.

Millennium Travel and Promotions Inc. and its owners, Henry Armand, Tony Armand and Karen Armand, agreed to pay approximately $21,000 in restitution to about 200 consumers and $10,000 to the Department of Justice to be used for consumer protection efforts. The defendants also were barred from participating in any travel-related business in the state for the next 10 years.

"Using the promise of a free vacation to lure people and then making it nearly impossible to actually book it is wrong," Cooper said. "Consumers who lost money to this scheme will now be able to get it back."

Millennium allegedly sold travel certificates that promised free roundtrip airlines tickets or a free cruise to entice individuals to attend a high-pressure sales pitch for A-2-Z Vacations, a travel club. Consumers received a vacation certificate provided by Millennium for free travel after paying a $100 deposit upfront.

Consumers alleged the trip was almost impossible to redeem because of so many blackout dates. As part of the agreement, consumers who paid the deposit on the trip will be able to get their money back.

Cooper's case against other travel groups named in the lawsuit, A-2-Z Vacations, Smart Travel & Incentives and East Coast Travel, is still moving forward.

"Read the fine print on any travel offer very carefully, especially if it seems too good to be true, and check out the company before you do business with them," Cooper said.

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