DENVER (Legal Newsline) - Colorado Attorney General John Suthers announced a court order on Thursday against a vacation company and its owners for allegedly engaging in deceptive business practices that violated the Colorado Consumer Protection Act.
Sea to Ski Vacations and its owners - Andrew Wunder, Bethany Wunder, Christian Wunder and Stephen Wunder - allegedly booked travel using Priceline and Expedia while pretending to work with an exclusive provider of travel services. The Wunders allegedly sold memberships in the club throughout the U.S.
Sea to Ski also allegedly mailed postcards that claimed the recipient won free airline tickets and charged exorbitant up-front fees. The free tickets allegedly had such onerous travel restrictions that consumers were unable to redeem the vouchers.
Suthers alleged the Wunders misrepresented the benefits of their travel club.
“Consumers complained that they were told membership in the travel club would entitle them to deep discounts on condos and cruises,” Suthers said. “Yet, after paying as much as $9,000 for a membership, the Sea to Ski ‘deals’ were no better than what the consumer could purchase on popular internet travel sites. We proved that the Wunders were operating a scam."
Denver District Court Judge Robert McGahey ordered Sea to Ski and the Wunders to pay more than $7 million in restitution and penalties. The Wunders are now prohibited from owning, managing or operating travel-related businesses.
American Airlines previously sued the Wunders for copyright infringement for allegedly using the company's logo illegally in Sea to Ski postcards.