Police have arrested and charged a Miami woman who they said stole nearly $119,000 from separate families after running a fraudulent travel agency and selling fake airline tickets to both Cuba and Nicaragua.
Maria Van-Caneghem, 46, faces 25 counts for various charges including grand theft and organized fraud.
According to an arrest report, Van-Caneghem connected with the victims through various Facebook groups looking to buy airline tickets to travel to both countries through a fake agency called Hello Cuba Travel.
In separate meetings in May 2022 with the various victims, Van-Caneghem allegedly collected $40,600 in cash from one group, $41,000 in cash from a second group and $37,300 in cash from a third group totaling $118,900 according to police.
Family members of the victims went to airports in both Miami and Havana, Cuba and were told the plane tickets were fake. Victims met with police and identified Van-Caneghem in a photo lineup.
After an investigation, Van-Caneghem met with Miami Police on Thursday and said she had returned some of the money to various victims but denied selling tickets to other victims.
Van-Caneghem is being held on $69,000 bond.
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