June 16, 2005
Branson, Mo. — The former owner of a Branson travel club that allegedly made unrealistic promises and employed high-pressure sales tactics to sell memberships will pay $42,544 in restitution and reimburse the state $5,000 in attorney's fees in an agreement with Attorney General Jay Nixon.
In a consent judgment filed in Taney County Circuit Court, Gary Snadon of Branson agreed to pay restitution to 14 individuals who purchased memberships in Travel Service Network, which were sold by Honesty LLC. As part of the judgment, Snadon can no longer do business in any capacity with Honesty LLC or do business under that name.
"When consumers make a purchase, they have the right to get what they paid for and if not, they deserve a refund," Nixon said. "Through this agreement, 14 individuals will get money back in their pockets, and we have sent a clear message that we are serious about enforcing Missouri's consumer protection laws."
Starting in July 2001, Honesty LLC allegedly sold memberships in a travel club for fees that ranged from $750 to $6,500, plus a $159 annual renewal fee. According to the lawsuit Nixon filed in July 2004, the company misrepresented to consumers the nature of the travel club's relationship with various airlines, hotels, cruise lines, auto rental companies and other travel related services.
The lawsuit also alleged that Honesty LLC falsely promised to consumers that as members of Travel Service Network they could obtain discounted rates on travel services, including cruises, hotels, rental cares and airfares, and further alleged that the company employed high pressure sales tactics to induce consumers to purchase such memberships.
The judgment involves Snadon only, and not Honesty LLC. Snadon gave up his ownership interest in the company in September 2001.