A woman sold fake travel packages and used the money to take a European vacation

A travel agent who helped people plan their great escapes to places all around the world ended up escaping herself — with their money. The 58-year-old scammer, Julie Ann Mincey, ran an "agency" in North Carolina called Country Travel and Tours, from where she took thousands of dollars from dozens of wannabe travelers. She then used the monies to kindly treat herself to — among other things — a trip to Europe.

From Yahoo!:

Officials say Mincey operated a travel agency and accepted thousands of dollars from clients after promising to secure travel packages around the world on their behalf. However, as clients' departure dates approached in September 2018, they learned that there were no travel packages. The woman was unable to provide an explanation to customers.

Investigators say Mincey's business accounts show that between August 2017 and September 2018, she used customer funds to make payments on personal credit cards, on a vehicle for an associate and to fund her personal bank account.

Mincey never reimbursed her customers, and many clients testified that they had not seen or heard from her since September 2018, the statement says.

The ex-faux-travel agent faces up to five years in prison and was "ordered to pay $53,402.58 in restitution."