The case of a local travel agent who stole money from dozens of clients came to an end today, with a jail sentence.
Ruth to the Rescue first brought you the story of Penny's Personal Travel in March. On Aug. 14, Penny Kane of Waterford was sentenced to four to 10 years in prison. Prosecutors say Kane's victims lost an overall total of almost $370,000. Kane's victims are left wondering if they will ever see the money they lost.
Kathy Marquette was in court to watch as Kane was sentenced.
"Very sad, very sad day," said Marquette, who actually knew Kane from high school.
Kane had planned a trip to Hawaii for Marquette back in 2012, and that trip went off without a hitch.
"We booked again, but for Maui this time, to go in May of 2013," said Marquette.
Marquette says she gave Kane deposits that totaled $8,800 for the second trip.
Travel Troubles Revealed
Back in March, other clients told Ruth to the Rescue about a canceled trip, with no refund in sight. At that point, Waterford police were already investigating Kane. Patricia Trosen, of White Lake, told Ruth to the Rescue Kane had ruined her planned vacation for three weeks in Hawaii.
"We were supposed to leave on the 9th of February. We found out on the 8th we were not going," said Trosen.
When Ruth to the Rescue spoke with Kane back in March she said that she was running an honest business. "I've never taken money for a trip that somebody did not get to, or they did not get their refund," she said during a phone interview.
However, Marquette says after the Ruth to the Rescue story aired, she received disturbing news from Kane. "She says, 'Kathy I never booked your trip in the first place. So, there's no insurance to consider. So, I'm sorry, but when I get out of prison I'll pay you back.'"
Kane pleaded no contest to several criminal charges including larceny. While the court says restitution is a condition of parole, Marquette and the other victims are doubtful that they will be reimbursed.
"There's too much money owed to everybody," said Marquette. " She's going to be 55 at the earliest, when she gets out. It's kind of hard to make up $370,000 after taxes."
Another victim, Douglas Wargo, emailed Ruth to the Rescue this comment, "Penny got what she deserved and I believe the consensus in the courtroom was that they hope it goes the full 10 years. There were many dreams and hopes shattered during this timeframe and it’s very sad that there are people
still out there that believe they can get away with such despicable crimes."
Marquette was lucky enough to make a $1,500 payment to Penny's Personal Travel by credit card. She was able to appeal the charge and was reimbursed by the credit card company. This is just another reminder that using credit cards, instead of cash to make certain deposits can give you some protection.