AG Coffman Obtains $7 Million Judgement Against Travel Club Scam
released on September 20, 2017
found in newsletter: September 2017
DENVER, CO — Today Attorney General Cynthia H. Coffman announced that a Denver court has ordered Stephen Wunder, Andrew Wunder, Bethany Wunder, and Christian Wunder, who owned and operated the Broomfield-based travel clubs Sea to Ski Vacations and Traditions Travel Group, to pay over $7 million to Colorado for defrauding consumers.
The Wunder family promised members of their travel club deep discounts at exotic hotels and timeshares around the world. In reality, the Wunders did nothing more than search online travel websites to book their clients’ travels. Consumers ultimately paid the Wunders thousands of dollars for a service they could have gotten online for free.
The case stems from a 2013 lawsuit filed by the Colorado Attorney General alleging that the Wunders deceived consumers throughout the country in the operation of their travel club. The Court’s most recent decision stems from an appeal filed by Stephen Wunder. In its Order, the Court increased the amount of its original judgment and ordered the Wunders to cease all business activities. It also permanently barred the Wunders from owning or working for any company that sells timeshares, condominium reservations, hotel reservations, airline tickets, or cruise line reservations.
“These individuals cannot be trusted to run a business,” said Attorney General Coffman. “The court’s seven million dollar judgement and order barring them from working in this industry again will help protect Coloradans, however, I am concerned that these defendants may be continuing to operate in other states. I urge all consumers to be careful and to do their homework before giving their hard earned money to any company, and to immediately report any fraud or suspicious behavior.”
The Attorney General believes the Wunders are continuing to charge consumers’ credit cards using a web of LLCs and aliases to mask their business activities. The Wunders registered and operated businesses in Arizona, California, Colorado, South Dakota, Texas, Utah, and Wyoming to hide their identities and squeeze as much money from unwitting consumers as they could. In one recent instance, the Wunders charged a New York couple’s credit card without their permission using an Austin-based business called Member Club Services and a Los Angeles-based business called Top of the Line Productions. In another instance, the Wunders registered a Park City business called Condos and Cruises Worldwide with the Utah Secretary of State under the name of their incapacitated mother.
The Wunders’ sales pitch included mailing postcards claiming that the recipient had won free airline tickets and other prizes, often using airline logos to suggest the airlines knew about these offers. The Colorado Attorney General warns that similar postcards using the Southwest, United, and Delta logos are frequently used to attract consumers to travel club and timeshare presentations.
The Attorney General believes Christian Wunder left Colorado for Chandler, Arizona, and Andrew and Bethany Wunder left Colorado for Austin, Texas. Stephen Wunder lives in Midway, Utah. If you have any information about any of these individuals or any companies they may be operating, or to report any other possible fraudulent activity, please file a complaint with the Colorado Attorney General at www.stopfraudcolorado.gov , or call 1-800-222-4444.
Original Press Release