MADISON, WI (September 2, 2015) — The Wisconsin Department of Justice has obtained $1.8 million to distribute as restitution to eligible Wisconsin residents who were victimized by Illinois-based Travel Services, Inc., and its principals, William Bailey and Christy Spensberger.
The funds were obtained through a settlement with Travel Services, Inc., Bailey and Spensberger, under which they will pay a total of $2.3 million. Pursuant to a court order entered on August 26, 2015, $1.8 million of the settlement funds will be available for restitution and costs associated with distribution to eligible club members. The remainder of the funds are allocated to civil forfeitures and the State’s costs of prosecution.
The settlement resolves cases that Wisconsin filed in Outagamie and Waukesha Counties against these parties. The Outagamie County case culminated in a six-day jury trial in 2014, followed by a judgment finding that the defendants had engaged in deceptive practices in the marketing of memberships in their travel clubs to Wisconsin consumers. The jury found that documents produced by Travel Services, Inc. and provided to consumers contained untrue, deceptive or misleading representations regarding the geographic locations of the travel clubs and the discounts on travel available to club members.
The cases were initially investigated by the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection (“DATCP”), which referred them to DOJ for litigation enforcement.
Wisconsin residents who purchased memberships in the Castaways Vacations Club, Phoenix Vacation Club or Outrigger Vacation Club, are eligible for payments from the restitution fund.
DOJ is working with Milwaukee Attorney Helen Ludwig, who will serve as Claims Administrator for the restitution fund. She will be contacting all known purchasers of the club memberships with information on how to make a claim. Purchasers who have moved since the date of their purchase are encouraged to write to Attorney Ludwig to provide current address information, referencing “Travel Services Settlement.” Her contact information is below:
Attorney Helen Ludwig
Sengstock, Budny & Ludwig, S.C.
10150 West National Avenue, Suite 390
West Allis, WI 53227
Tel: (414) 321-0078 Email: [email protected]
PRESS RELEASE SOURCE: Wisconsin Office of the US Attorney General