I-TEAM EXCLUSIVE: Parents of House of Aloha Hawaii travel booker Wendy Wong say Bay Area native took their money too

MILPITAS, Calif. (KGO) -- ABC7 News I-Team Reporter Melanie Woodrow exclusively spoke with House of Aloha Hawaii Founder Wendy Tenedora Wong's parents. They say the self-proclaimed virtual travel counselor owes them thousands of dollars too. House of Aloha Hawaii clients say Wong who goes by Wen took their money but never booked their vacations.

RELATED: I-TEAM: Wendy Wong of House of Aloha Hawaii responds to vacation booking allegations

As love sometimes goes Rachel Nisperos and fiancé Mikey Boyd took their time.

"Yeah, it took me a year to actually ask her for her number," said Boyd.

The couple describes their eight year romance as slow and steady.

"What I love the most is his patience," said Nisperos.

Similarly, after Mikey proposed at Christmas in 2017, they decided on a long engagement, with plenty of time to plan and for their family to save up.

The destination was a no brainer. They chose Hawaii where Mikey took Rachel on their first vacation together as a couple and where she discovered the Aloha life.

"It's always been just a very hospitable culture without any strings attached," said Nisperos.

A friend recommended hiring Wendy Wong, who goes by Wen of House of Aloha Hawaii to book the entire wedding.

"She was literally supposed to do A to Z everything," said Nisperos.

Three months to the wedding they say there were no confirmed bookings, no flight itineraries and always an excuse

"It was almost like we were still almost a year and a half out," said Nisperos.

She says it was far from the Aloha Life.

"It's the exact opposite," said Nisperos.

On Aug. 6 she says she received an email from Wen.

"Everything is under water, everything. It's so bad right now with what happened and having to deal with the issues," the email in part read.

Those issues including a lawsuit out of New York filed July 23 by Cash Flow Funding, which bought House of Aloha Hawaii and Wen's future receivables for $50,000. Less than 24 hours after receiving that money, Cash Flow Funding Attorney Michael Samuel says Wen defaulted on her first payment of $600.

"My client was just bewildered because in transactions like this it's extremely uncommon," said Samuel.

Cash Flow Funding is suing Wen for more than $100,000 and attorneys' fees.

Meantime the Milpitas Police Department says they've interviewed 13 victims who say they paid Wen but discovered their vacations were never booked. The Milpitas Police Department referred the case to the Santa Clara County District Attorney's Office. This week dozens of more people with complaints contacted ABC7 News I-Team Reporter Melanie Woodrow.

Many of them mentioned Wen's assistant Jaymie Rodriguez.

Rachel says Rodriguez continues to downplay the situation.

"It just sounded like she was trying to cover for Wendy as well," said Nisperos.

I-Team Reporter Melanie Woodrow learned Jaymie works in the civil division records department at Santa Clara County Superior Court.

"I did not know that," said Nisperos.

A court spokesperson says court policy requires employees to disclose any outside work but it's not clear if Rodriguez did. That same spokesperson says the court does not comment on personnel issues.

With two months before the big day, the couple and their family are out $27,000. Rachel and Mikey still need a place to stay the night before their wedding in Oahu.

"I wish we never crossed paths with her," said Nisperos.

Even so, the couple says their love is stronger than ever.

Rodriguez has not responded to I-Team Reporter Melanie Woodrow's requests for comment. Wen who had been emailing Melanie has stopped. Wen's parents however are speaking with Melanie.

Wen's father and step-mother tell Melanie Wen owes them nearly $20,000. They estimate she owes her family closer to $200,000.

Wen's father Ted Tenedora who goes by Junior emailed Melanie the following statement:

"Thank you for the opportunity and trust that your investigative journalism will provide relief for some of the victims and perhaps, more importantly prevent future victims. The Tenedora family grieves over the devastating losses to so many including several of them. Innocent victims will never get their dream vacations or the weddings of their dreams. No one will ever be paid back, the money is gone. Aside from stealing their money, betraying childhood friends, family and their referrals is heinous. House of Aloha is nothing more than a House of Cards, House of Deceit and Lies."

The Santa Clara County DA's Office has created a dedicated email address for consumers with complaints about House of Aloha Hawaii. It is TravelComplaint@dao.sccgov.org

Wen did not respond to a request for comment prior to this report airing but the following day she emailed writing:

"Those that know the history between my dad, my stepmom and I, are not surprised by their actions. They are evil people. Who does this to their children? He is SPEAKING on his own behalf."

For a look at more stories and videos by the ABC7 News I-Team go here.
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