Police say a former Stamford-based travel agent is responsible for the fraud. Ruth Montoya was arraigned after police say she simply pocketed money instead of buying tickets for airfare to Latin American countries including Honduras, Argentina and Peru. The alleged scam went on for over a year.
Police say in all 13 people were bilked out of more than 22-thousand dollars. Finally in December, as the number of victims and the level of frustration grew in the Latino community, Montoya disappeared.
Juan Silva took over the office space on Shippan Avenue where Montoya ran Astral Travel.
The 58-year old Montoya eventually filed for bankruptcy at which time police tried to negotiate her surrender. Montoya was eventually arrested in Baltimore.
Police say there may be additional victims, reluctant to come forward.
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