February 21, 2006
CONSUMER PROTECTION DIVISION ISSUES CEASE AND DESIST
ORDER AGAINST SELLER OF OPRAH WINFREY SHOW TRIP PACKAGE
Attorney General J. Joseph Curran, Jr. announced today that
his Consumer Protection Division has issued a cease and
requiring a seller of a bus trip package to pay restitution that
exceeds $30,000.00. Terrance Hawkins of Temple Hills, Maryland,
t/a Royal Travel Group and Royal Stages, Inc., collected deposits
from more than 90 consumers for a bus trip package that included
tickets to The Oprah Winfrey Show, hotel reservations, casino
rebates, and bus transportation to Chicago and Detroit.
Mr. Hawkins cancelled
the trip, but he failed to refund the money that he had been
paid by consumers.
The Consumer Protection Division determined that Hawkins violated
the Maryland Consumer Protection Act by selling bus trip packages
that he failed to provide and by failing to refund customers’ payments.
According to the producer of The Oprah Winfrey Show, it does not
provide large blocks of tickets. Accordingly, Hawkins never had
the capability of providing the trip he was promising to consumers.
The Division’s cease and desist order immediately bars
Hawkins from accepting deposits from customers prior to providing
goods and services.
Consumers who pay for a trip that is later cancelled have the right
to a refund" said Attorney General Curran.
Consumers who have not received refunds of deposits they paid
to Terrance Hawkins for a trip to The Oprah Winfrey Show in
Chicago and to casinos in Detroit may call the Consumer Protection
at 410-576-6592. A hearing on civil penalties has been scheduled
for Tuesday, March 28, 2006 at 9:30 a.m. at the Office of Administrative
Hearings, 11101 Gilroy Road, Hunt Valley, MD 21031.