APPLETON, Wis. (AP) -- It could take up to two years before hundreds of Wisconsinites lured into a travel scam will recover any of their losses.
The elaborate travel scheme shut down this year by the state Department of Justice scammed 884 people in Wisconsin. Outagamie County Circuit Judge Dee Dyer ordered the scammer, "Going Places Travel," to pay a penalty of $3.8 million.
The company mailed postcards to hundreds of thousands of people inviting them to a presentation in exchange for free trips. Participants are urged to buy a travel club membership. The "free" trips are handled by a third party and generally never materialize.
Dee Mosher, of Neenah, tells Post-Crescent Media she and her husband charged $4,000 to their credit card for a membership, a move that caused them headaches with six collection agencies over four years.