Travel agent pleads guilty to theft scheme and faces additional charges

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PRINCE GEORGE COUNTY, MD – Lorena Balbuena-Aguilar, a former Hyattsville travel agent, pleaded guilty to a theft scheme and received a three-year suspended sentence except 360 days.

An investigation revealed that Balbuena-Aguilar defrauded numerous victims out of money over the course of a year. From 2018 to 2019, she ran an unlicensed travel agency (Azteka Travel & Services, LLC), primarily targeting the Hispanic community. She accepted the victims’ money and promised to book their flights. When people called the airlines to confirm, they were told no payment had been received. Balbuena-Aguilar was telling individuals to book another flight and promising to refund the airfare. However, she never repaid them.

After serving the active part of his sentence, Balbuena-Aguilar will be on supervised probation for five years and will have to pay compensation to the six families who lost money in the amount of $12,637.00. She also pleaded guilty to a violation of her previous probation for an identical theft scheme for which she awaits sentencing.

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“I am thrilled that Ms. Balbuena-Aguilar has taken responsibility for this crime,” said Maryland State Attorney Aisha Braveboy. “This is not the first time she has scammed individuals, but I hope this sends a message that we will not tolerate this. Financial crimes are devastating to victims and we are happy to have achieved justice for those that Ms. Balbuena-Aguilar took advantage of.”


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