Accused travel scammer Daryl Turner was released from jail Friday, but not before the state seized his seven bank accounts, four luxury cars and a Scarab speedboat.
Turner, who was arrested Monday on a second degree theft by deception charge, was released from Burlington County Jail after posting $75,000 bail, following the state’s receipt of “proof of legitimate funds for the purchase of a bail bond,” authorities said.
Turner stands accused of deceiving hopeful travelers, taking thousands of dollars from hundreds of customers for vacation packages or travel club memberships while customers got nothing in return. The charge carries jail time of up to 10 years and a fine of up to $150,000.
“This came as a complete shock to him because he has been in active negotiations with the state,” said Turner’s attorney Ken Aita. “He’s obviously maintaining his innocence and he plans on fighting the charges.”
Turner previously signed a $3 million settlement with the state’s Consumer Affairs division, pledging to pay nearly $2.2 million in restitution to customers of 11 bogus travel companies. But he told the court he had no assets and the state had not until this week receieved any restitution.
While the state pursues the criminal charge, it’s also not done with civil charges against Turner. A case against Turner and his wife Robyn Bernstein is in preliminary stages, with the state alleging the duo started up Travel Deals, another illegitimate travel business with markedly similar business practices to the 11 companies named in Turner’s settlement.