Source: Travel Agent 1/13/2009

YTB Faces Court Action

Travel agents concerned with the future of YTB Inc. and its impact on the travel industry will have to wait until September when, reportedly, the lawsuit by California's state Attorney General against YTB will be heard in a Los Angeles court.

The State's attorney general filed the suit against YTB in August 2008, alleging that YTB "operates an unlawful endless chain scheme (pyramid scheme) that relies on untrue and misleading representations and unlawful, unfair, and fraudulent business practices." This, the state said, includes "violations of laws regulating the sale of seller assisted marketing plans, franchises, and travel discount plans."

While YTB has remained silent on the charges, as is their right, the issues have special meaning for agents who are also facing the demise of TravelStar/JoyStar which, at press time, may impact scores of agents and at least $350,000 in unpaid commissions. Both Carnival Cruise Lines and Norwegian Cruise Lines have dropped JoyStar. Unlike YTB, however, legal action is being left to individuals.

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