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Aussie travel agent convicted

Ordered to compensate victims and pay large fine

A Queensland travel agent who stole tens of thousands of dollars from families has been fined $10,000 and ordered to repay her debts by the Office of Fair Trading (OFT).



Owner of Travel Experience Charters Towers, Debra Lee Durrington broke Australian Consumer Law (ACL) when she accepted payment from three customers to book five holidays comprising flights, accommodation, tours and car hire between November 2015 and July 2016, but failed to process the bookings, Townsville Magistrates Court heard.


According to the Townsville Bulletin, Durrington later assured the customers they would receive refunds, but never paid them.


One consumer alone paid $16,890 for two holidays, the paper reported.   


In court, Ms Durrington pled guilty to five counts of wrongly accepting payment totalling $24,011.


“The OFT welcomes today’s court decision and is pleased that the affected consumers will recover their money,” Fair Trading executive director Brian Bauer said.


“Consumers in Queensland have the right to expect they will get what they pay for.”


Travel Experience Charters Towers ceased trading in August 2016.


Written by: Mark Harada

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