SACRAMENTO (CBS13) – Theresa Coleman already bought travel books, excited to take a Spain trip she booked through SacTrips.com for $2,600.
“This would’ve been the biggest trip I’ve ever taken,” she said.READ MORE: Stockton Police Officer Jimmy Inn Killed After Responding To Domestic Violence Call; Suspect Also Killed
A travel video on the website says travelers would be led by “executive tourologist Grady O’Bryant”.
When her doctor told her she couldn’t go for medical reasons, she says organizer Grady left a voicemail promising her money back saying, “I have scheduled you for a refund on Wednesday of next week.” She says it never came.
“And I need that money. I’m not rich.”
Jan and Doug Bryant paid $3,245 to go to New York and Washington, DC but say Grady canceled their trip with just six days’ notice.
“This just hit us like a block,” Jan said.
“Kind of a shock, 6 days prior,” said Doug.
Vera Christensen says she’s owed a thousand bucks after Grady canceled her Mardis Gras trip. What makes her even more mad?
“He was still booking trips,” she said.READ MORE: Family Of Fallen Stockton Officer Jimmy Inn Share Their Memories
She says he told her he was having financial problems, but we found this month he was still advertising a Ganja trip in Jamaica for this fall.
Consumer Attorney Stuart Talley says a travel agent must keep money collected for trips in a separate special trust account.
“And that money is supposed to be used to pay for that trip,” Talley said.
We reached out repeatedly to Grady O’Bryant over the span of two months and decided to drop by his business address on L Street in Sacramento, which we found is a mailbox inside a shipping store. We also stopped by his house. The woman who answered the door said he wasn’t home but said she’d relay the message to call us. He never did.
“He’s shady,” Theresa said. “He’s completely shady.”
She challenged the charge with her credit card company and got a refund.
Jan, Doug and Vera have sued with court dates scheduled for later this week in small claims court.
“I just can’t believe he would do that to me,” Vera said.
In California, travel agents must register with the Attorney General’s Office and pay into a restitution fund. That fund is there to reimburse people in situations like these. Anyone who booked with this company should file a claim right away. http://oag.ca.gov/travel/consumerMORE NEWS: Man Accused Of Stealing Sailboat And Getting It Stuck Under Tower Bridge
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