Vacation Tours USA, Inc. settled a lawsuit on Tuesday filed by New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman alleging the company ran a misleading advertising scheme that promised consumers a free vacation.
The Florida-based company is owned by Tony Armand and Henry Armand. They allegedly sent letters to New York residents informing them they had won a free vacation valued at $1,398, which included lodging and airfare.
The Armands allegedly used the names of several prominent airlines in the letters, including Southwest, Jet Blue and US Air. Consumers was instructed to call a number on the letter to claim the prize, but after calling they allegedly were told they had to attend a seminar to receive the vacation.
Once at the seminar, the respondents had to sit through a lengthy sales presentation and ultimately never received the free vacations.
“Today’s settlement makes it clear that scammers who mislead hard-working New Yorkers will be held accountable,” Schneiderman said. “Nobody is above the law, and my office will take swift action against those who prey upon consumers.”
As part of the settlement, the company will pay $22,500 in civil fees, in addition to halting all deceptive business practices and reimbursing customers who filed complaints with Schneiderman's office.