January 9, 2007
CONSUMER PROTECTION DIVISION ORDERS
SELLER OF OPRAH WINFREY SHOW TRIP PACKAGE
TO PAY RESTITUTION AND CIVIL PENALTIES
Maryland Attorney General Douglas F. Gansler announced today that
his Consumer Protection Division has issued a final order requiring
a seller of a bus trip package to pay restitution of more than
$30,000.00 and to pay a penalty of $36,000.00. Terrance Hawkins
of Temple Hills, Maryland, who trades as Royal Travel Group and
Royal Stages, Inc., collected deposits from 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. Although Hawkins cancelled the trip, he failed to
refund the money that he collected from consumers.
Protection Division found that Hawkins committed at least 96
violations of the Maryland Consumer Protection Act
when he took money from 96 individuals as payment for a trip that
he was unable to provide. The Division’s order immediately
bars Hawkins from offering or selling bus trips unless he is able
to deliver the goods or services on the promised date.
“I hope this order serves as a lesson to other business
owners in Maryland: provide consumers with what they have paid
for and what you have promised, or you could end up paying much
more in the end,” said Attorney General Gansler.