Travel agent accused of fraud

Published 11:40 am Thursday, August 2, 2012

A television cameraman and reporters stand outside Travel Dreams hoping to speak with owner Cindy Ferguson, who was arrested Wednesday for fraud. KATE ARCHER/TIDEWATER NEWS

FRANKLIN—The owner of a Franklin travel agency was arrested Wednesday for booking vacations that were never paid for and using customers’ credit cards to book vacations for other people, Franklin police said.

Cindy Bryant Ferguson, 50, the owner of Travel Dreams on Armory Drive in the same plaza as Don Pancho’s Cantina, allegedly between April 6 and July 17 swindled four victims from Zuni, Suffolk and North Carolina out of a total of $5,000, said Det. Cpl. J.B. Butts.

He said he believes there are more victims.

“There’s probably some that didn’t report it because they got their vacations and didn’t know anything else of it,” Butts said.

Most of the trips were for cruises, he said.

It’s alleged that Ferguson, who lives on the 3400 block of Beaverdam Road, Franklin, used credit cards she had on file to book trips for other customers.

Police heard about the alleged fraud after one victim learned a cruise she had paid for had been cancelled for non-payment.

“We found other (victims) were involved with having their credit cards used,” Butts said.

No one answered the phone at Travel Dreams and the doors were locked on Thursday afternoon, although it’s believed someone was inside. Customers reportedly showed up at the business dissatisfied with the news.

Ferguson, who told police she has been in the travel business for 25 years and has been with Travel Dreams since 1999, was charged with five counts of grand larceny, four counts of credit card fraud and two counts of obtaining money under false pretense. She did not admit to any of the charges, Butts said.

Ferguson was taken to Western Tidewater Regional Jail in Suffolk after failing to post $10,000 bond.

If anyone believes they are a victim, call Butts at 562-2849.