Eric Schneiderman for Attorney General

AG sues Rochester travel agent, again

November 14, 2016

As published by the Rochester Democrat & Chronicle on November 10, 2016.

A lawsuit alleges that a Rochester-based travel agent who was barred from practice kept operating a business and continued to scam customers.

Attorney General Eric Schneiderman announced a new lawsuit Thursday against Constance Catanise and her travel agency, Escapes Inc., alleging deceptive business practices and violation of  an agreement she reached with the state in June.

In the earlier case, she agreed to pay $60,000 restitution and cease operations after she failed to book paid-for flights, stranding clients including a McQuaid Jesuit High School alumni group en route to tour World War I and II battlefields in France.

“Ms. Catanise decided to blatantly violate our agreement by operating under a new name and has continued to scam consumers,” Schneiderman said in a news release, alleging that she was still operating even as she signed the agreement this past summer. Catanise also is accused of continuing to take customers’ money while failing to book their flights.

In the latest case, Schneiderman asked the court to block Catanise from transferring any assets or accept any advance payments from consumers, and bar her from the travel business altogether unless she posts $100,000 bond.