Tuesday, September 23, 2008

$200K QVC Fraud ... It's a Zoo Out Here!

According to InYork.com, A suburban Philadelphia travel agent is charged with stealing nearly $200,000 in tour payments and spending the money on clothes and QVC purchases.

Officials in Montgomery County say most of Frances Balshan's victims were senior citizens interested in an African safari.

The 66-year-old Balshan of Abington ran World Travel Vignettes, which linked customers with a tour being organized by the St. Louis Zoo.

District Attorney Risa Ferman says Balshan collected $197,000, but forwarded only $10,000 to the zoo.

Balshan is charged with felony theft and fraud. She defended her reputation to reporters on Monday and says the allegations are a result of a misunderstanding.

The safari went on as planned, thanks to funding from a nonprofit that supports the zoo.

This happens all the time. It seems like every week there's another fraud involving someone stealing money or credit cards and using it to buy mountains of products from a home shopping network. Doesn't QVC notice when a customer has spent almost $200,000? Doesn't that raise a red flag?

Not to mention that poor zoo.

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