STAMFORD, Conn. — Police charged a woman Tuesday who is suspected of scamming customers out of $21,000 through her Stamford-based travel agency, Sgt. Peter diSpagna said.
Ruth Yolanda Montoya, 58, of New Rochelle, N.Y., was the former owner and operator of the Astral Travel Agency on Shippan Avenue and has been accused by 13 former customers of receiving payments for airline tickets and not ordering the tickets, diSpagna said. The customers wouldn't find out anything happened until showing up at the airport, he said.
The customers were from all over the area, including Greewnich, Stamford and Bridgeport, and all were trying to fly to Central and South American countires, diSpagna said. All 13 incidents took place in the past year, he said.
Being Latino and serving the Latino population in the area probably allowed her to build a connection with her clients, diSpagna said describing the crime as a “betrayal of confidence.”
The travel agency went out of business earlier this year when Montoya filed for bankruptcy, he said.
Montoya was arrested last week in Baltimore during a routine traffic stop and was picked up by Stamford police Monday after she waived extradition. She was charged with first-degree larceny and will appear in court Tuesday.