Investigators of the Nassau County
District Attorneys office arrested Jerry Cummings, aka Andrew
Cummings, operator of Hempstead,
N.Y.-based Sunshine Vacations and Celebrity Travel, on grand larceny in the third and fourth degrees
and scheme to defraud, according to a statement from Nassau County
District Attorney Kathleen Rice.
Rice, We believe this defendant is responsible for the theft of
hundreds of thousands of dollars from vacationers, travel agencies
and credit card companies. His elaborate cons have left people
without their vacations and many times stranded or fearing for
their safety in foreign countries.
reports, most of the accusations follow a similar pattern of people
booking and paying for trips and
finding upon arrival at the destinations that their payments never
made it to the hotels, transfer services, airlines or other service
In one charge in
the complaint, Cummings is accused of defrauding American Express
out of $35,000 by opening corporate accounts under various names
and running up charges that were never paid, including more than
$25,000 in charges from Celebrity Travel to Sunshine Vacations, two
of his business names.
Prior to his
arrest on June 27, Cummings was free on $10,000 bail after a May 10
arrest on charges that he defrauded 50 clients of Tecumseh,
Ontario-based Magic Carpet Travel out of $40,000 worth of air fare
and hotel reservations.
He had recently
opened a new business called Destinations Unlimited about 10 miles
from his previous location, according to Diane Peress, the bureau
chief of Economic Crimes of the Nassau Country District Attorneys
Cummings has been
arrested before on similar charges, but has never been convicted.
In April 2005 he was arrested on charges of defrauding American
Express out of $182,000, based on cumulative chargebacks from
customers who claimed not to have received their travel
arrangements from Sunshine Vacations. The charges were dismissed,
according to Peress, but a number of incidents
remain under investigation by the Nassau County D.A.s
arrest followed an intensive investigation into a large number of
incidents involving Cummings reported by travel agents, culminating
in the issuance of a search warrant for Cummings current place of
business in Hempstead, N.Y.
each problem we can establish that it is not possible that that
many people didnt have hotel rooms, documents, air fare, etc. by
accident, said Peress. Theres a cumulative effect. The old
dog-ate-my-homework excuse isnt working anymore.
Efforts by TravelWeekly.com to reach Cummings lawyer were
The Nassau County
District Attorneys office is asking anyone with information about
similar or related incidents with Jerry Cummings or Sunshine
Vacations/Celebrity Travel since June 2004 to contact Justin
Heiferman, assistant district attorney, by telephone at (516)
571-2149 or by e-mail at [email protected].
To contact reporter David Cogswell, send e-mail to [email protected].