THE BRONX — It’s bad enough that Karen Fordham was unable to attend her daughter’s wedding in Guyana three years ago. Now, she's still struggling to collect the money she won in the lawsuit over the travel scam.
Fordham gave a down payment of $500 for airline tickets to Executive Travel Tours in the Bronx three years ago. The owner of the travel agency, Lincoln Blaze, never got the tickets. Fordham's daughter had to buy her ticket at the last minute.
When Fordham asked Blaze for a refund to help pay for her expenses to Guyana, he said he didn’t have the money. Fordham, who is disabled and uses a walker, asked what happened to the money. The travel agent said he lost it.
Fordham didn't have enough money to go to the wedding in the end.
She sued Executive Travel Tours and won a judgment for $1,500 for pain and suffering and wedding-related expenses. But Blaze hadn't paid a penny in the last three years.
In January, PIX11 News went to the travel agency with Fordham. At the time, Blaze promised to start making payments for $500 every two weeks. At Fordham's request, he put the promise in writing and had it notarized.
Two months later, Fordham called PIX11 News to report that the travel agent had not kept his promised payment schedule. She said she tried to contact him, but he had hung up on her and told her not to call him anymore.
Fordham said Blaze told her: “You’ll get the money when I get it.”
PIX11 News returned for a second time to the travel agency. Blaze told Fordham he’d been unable to make the payments because business has been slow. However, to Fordham's surprise, during the visit, Blaze went to the bank to cash a check and returned with $500, his first full payment. He gave it all to her and said from now on he will try to pay her $200 every two week. He gave her a new note to the effect.
It’s money she’s been waiting for for three years. But what a shame she didn’t have it when her daughter was getting married.