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Post date: September 21 1999

Capital Region Travel Agency Sued By A.G.

Attorney General Spitzer today announced his office has filed a lawsuit against a Capital Region travel agency for taking deposits from consumers, but failing to make promised travel reservations and failing to provide refunds.

The lawsuit filed in State Supreme Court in Albany County accuses the Travel Co. of Troy, Ltd., located on Third Street, Troy, and its president and sole shareholder, Cathie J. Close of Ballston Lake, of deceptive and illegal business practices, including failing to comply with the requirement that a travel agency have a binding commitment with a carrier before selling reservations.

"This case underscores the need to aggressively oversee the travel industry to prevent gross mismanagement practices that can ultimately ruin a family's vacation plans," Spitzer said. "My office has filed this lawsuit to stop this company before any more consumers are victimized."

Travel Co. of Troy repeatedly took deposits from consumers, but failed to forward the reservation money to carriers, such as Carnival Cruises. When consumers contacted the carrier to confirm reservations, the carrier would inform them that no such reservation had been made, or that it had been canceled for non-payment. Travel Co. of Troy would then fail to refund the deposit to the consumer, even after repeated promises.

The lawsuit seeks full refunds for consumers injured by Travel Co. of Troy and asks the court to bar Travel Co. of Troy and its president, Close, from the travel agency industry unless a $100,000 performance bond is posted with the Attorney General's office. Spitzer's office also seeks civil penalties for each violation of law.

Individuals interested in filing a complaint against Travel Co. of Troy are encouraged to contact the Attorney General's consumer help line at (800) 771-7755 or visit his web site at

This case is being handled by Associate Attorney Robert J. Vawter of the Attorney General's Consumer Fraud and Protection Bureau.