A Whitby woman has been arrested in connection with an alleged $245,000 “kiting” scam.
Durham Regional Police allege the woman posed as a travel agent to collect money from clients to fund their vacations. However, she is accused of not using the money as agreed, but keeping it for herself. This kind of operation is known in law enforcement as a “kiting” scam.
Investigators began to receive reports of the woman’s alleged fraud in October 2020 and began an investigation. They claim to have learned she operated this scam from 2011 to 2019. The additionally claim she used a fake certificate from the Travel Industry Council of Ontario to win over victims.
Police say the woman operates her own business as Travel Girl Inc. as a professional expert group travel and destination weddings. She has used more than 21 different aliases, including;
- Alora Tarcia Brown
- Naviya Lavana Tarcia Craig Brown
- Anneasa Tarcia Brown
- Mia Lee Brown
- Imani Amaya Brown
- Yania Amaya Tarcia Brown
- La Toya Tarcia Brown
- Amaya Tarcia Brown-Craig
- Olivia Tarcia Brown-Craig
- Tarana Tarcia Craig
- Tarcia Su Mae Craig
- Nadine Natyalia Malika Brown Spencer
- Malika Elisabeth Vanessa Craig Brown
- Dalena Valentia Brown
- Alissa Abigail Brown
- Aliyana Dalia Tarcia Brown
- Denelda Tarcia La Toya Craig
- Tarcia La Toya Craig
- Elisabeth Brown
- Naviya Craig Adolph
- Su Mae Craig
Investigators arrested Tarcia Craig Brown, 43, on 27 charges including multiple counts of fraud over $5,000, committing a computer offense, unauthorized credit card usage, forgery and using forged documents. She has been released from custody with conditions.
Police are working to identify further victims and witnesses. Anyone with information pertinent to the investigation can call police at 1-888-579-1520 ext. 5321 or Crime Stoppers anonymously at 1-800-222-TIPS (8477).
Financially, investigators urge prospective vacationers to make sure their travel agent is registered with the Travel Industry Council of Ontario. TICO was founded in 1997 to administer Ontario’s Travel Industry Act and regulate the industry. Travelers can check if their agent is registered, file complaints, and see which agencies have had their licenses revoked or suspended.
They also have a list of travel agents how they have been charged with or convicted of breaking the Travel Industry Act.
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