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FBI contacts victims of alleged journey rip-off by Hillsborough County agency

HILLSBOROUGH COUNTY, Fla. — The FBI not long ago sent letters searching for info from opportunity victims of a former Hillsborough County travel company.

The go will come two years soon after additional than 120 individuals claimed that Diana Hopkins, owner of Hopkins Journey Expert services, took thousands of bucks from them for a cruise they by no means obtained to take.

Karen Regan and 120 many others in her team say they booked a cruise with Hopkins again in 2019 that was supposed to set sail in May possibly.

But shortly following earning the reservations, Regan uncovered the discounted price they paid out was as well very good to be accurate.

“Every thing was legit. Our reservations have been on the Norwegian Cruise Line web-site when we appeared up our account. It was all there,” stated Regan. “We all built our full payments, and then we bought canceled.”

The allegations prompted Florida regulators to revoke Diana Hopkins’ journey agent license in 2020. She is accused of committing credit rating card fraud and using other people’s cards to pay the full stability for customer’s trips.

Norwegian Cruise Line canceled all of the reservations and refunded everybody in Regan’s group, but others say they by no means received their revenue back again.

Now consumers of Hopkins Travel Expert services say the FBI’s Tampa office re-despatched them target notification letters. The letter refers to a “substantial quantity of probable victims” figuring out Hopkins Vacation Products and services (HTS) as a enterprise that allegedly operated a fraud plan in between January 1, 2017, and December 31, 2019.

The FBI letter instructs possible victims to fill out an online questionnaire and presents an electronic mail tackle.

Acting U.S. Lawyer for the District of Maryland Jonathan Lenzner is not involved in the scenario, but he is aware the course of action.

“In numerous situations, we seek restitution on behalf of the victims. It is essential for us to be in get in touch with with victims of a fraud plan so we can make certain victims are created entire at the finish of a circumstance,” reported Lenzner.

I-Workforce investigator Jackie Callaway tried to arrive at Hopkins at her Riverview property and still left messages, but Hopkins has nevertheless to react.

Complicating the situation even much more, Hopkins submitted for bankruptcy just after problems commenced in 2019. She stated $22,000 in losses out of additional than $300,000 in money owed.

Any one working with a journey agent grievance in Florida can call the Florida Office of Customer Services at www.fdacs.gov.