THE BRONX -- Three years ago, Karen Fordham’s daughter was getting married in Guyana. Fordham, who is disabled and uses a walker, went to Executive Travel Tours in the Bronx, looking for cheap tickets to Guyana.
She gave the owner of the travel agency, Lincoln Blaize, $500.
“It was supposed to be a down payment for the airfare," Fordham said. "But he didn’t get us any tickets.”
At the last minute, Fordham’s daughter had to buy her own ticket. But Fordham said when she asked the travel agent for a refund to help pay for her expenses to Guyana, “he said well I don’t have the money now.”
What happened to the money?
"It was lost. We lost it," Lincoln Blaize told PIX11.
Fordham was left without money to go to her daughter’s wedding.
"I needed that extra money for travel expenses," Fordham said. "I’m under a lot of medication, too. It was just too much.”
Fordham sued Executive Travel Tours and Lincoln Blaize. Blaize did not show up to court and Fordham won a judgment by default for $1,500 for pain and suffering and wedding-related expenses.
When Blaize did not pay any part of the judgment, Fordham called PIX11 Investigates and we went with her to Executive Travel Tours. Blaize said he hasn’t paid because of business difficulties that forced him to move to another location.
"I was closed for a period of time," Blaize said.
Blaize admits he knew about the judgment but said he had no money to make payments. The longer he didn’t pay, the more the amount of the judgment increased. Karen took him back to court and the judge raised the amount to $2,277.92.
While we were inside the travel agency, Blaize promised to begin making payments, in the amount of $500 every two weeks until the entire judgment was paid off. At Fordham’s insistence, he had it notarized.
While it will not make up for the disappointment of missing out on her daughter’s wedding, it is money she badly needs.
“It’s been a long time coming,” Fordham said. “Three years. I appreciate your help.”