Travel Agent Vivian Cheng Found Guilty for Defrauding Customers and Host Agency
ARLINGTON, Va. – Feb. 01, 2016 - Manhattan District Attorney, Cyrus R. Vance, Jr., recently acknowledged Airlines Reporting Corp. (ARC) for its assistance in the conviction of New York City travel agent, Vivian Cheng, for stealing approximately $45,000 from her customers. Cheng used customers’ credit cards without their authorization or permission to purchase tickets for other travelers who had previously paid for their airfares, sometimes in cash. This, in turn, exposed the host agency with which she worked to monetary losses in the hundreds of thousands of dollars.
In a news release issued by the District Attorney’s Office, Vance recognized ARC fraud prevention team members Doug Nass and Christine Hettich for their assistance with the investigation leading up to Cheng’s arrest.
Cheng pled guilty in New York Supreme Court to Grand Larceny and Scheme to Defraud. As part of her plea, she has agreed to pay back $500,000 in six months to her victims or otherwise face 28-84 months in prison.
In the scam, customers of Bestway Travel, owned by Cheng, paid for round-trip airfare only to receive one-way tickets or no tickets at all. Cheng’s agency was located in New York’s Chinatown neighborhood and many of her victims were elderly members of the Chinese–American community. According to the District Attorney’s Office, “Some travelers were left stranded overseas, having to pay for new tickets out of pocket, or were prevented from taking their trips entirely.”
More detailed information about this case is available at http://bit.ly/1TH72nF.
An industry leader in air travel distribution and intelligence, ARC settled $94.8 billion in ticket transactions in 2018 between airlines and travel agencies, representing more than 295 million passenger trips. ARC provides flexible distribution solutions, innovative technology and access to the world’s most comprehensive air ticket transaction data, helping the global air travel community connect, grow and thrive. For more information, please visit www.arccorp.com.