House of Aloha Hawaii travel booker must pay victims back per plea deal to avoid jail time

Melanie Woodrow Image
Wednesday, August 24, 2022
House of Aloha travel booker must pay victims back to avoid jail time
House of Aloha travel booker Wendy Tenedora Wong has until Nov. 4 to pay back victims after allegedly defrauding them of trips or face jail time.

SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- A travel booker accused of taking thousands of dollars from Bay Area residents, then never booking their vacations, has until November to pay them back or she could serve time in jail.

Bay Area residents who trusted Wendy Tenedora Wong to book their destination weddings, family reunions and vacations may finally get their money back. On Tuesday, Wong pleaded guilty to two felony counts. The Santa Clara County District Attorney's Office says she had been facing 50 felony counts.

"I think it's well worth the wait definitely as long as something's done about it and it seems that it was," said victim Julius Marr Jr.

Victims like the Marr family told the I-Team, Wong took their money to book vacations but didn't actually book their trips.

In 2019, Rachel Nisperos and her fiancé told the ABC7 News Wong hadn't booked their Hawaiian destination wedding.

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

RELATED: House of Aloha Hawaii permanently closes with investigation underway

The Vasquez family says Wong took their money to book a family trip to Mexico.

"I was really pissed off because there was 22 of us," said Danny Vasquez in March of 2021.

Celia Vasquez saved one of Wong's voicemails.

"Crazy, crazy weather right now and it's making everything adjust and so there's like a lot of cancelations," Wong could be heard saying in the voicemail.

"I kept asking her about the refund, she kept saying 'oh it's coming it's coming' and then finally she just broke all communication," said Celia Vasquez in March of 2021.

The Santa Clara County DA's Office says according to the plea deal, Wong has until her November 4 sentencing to come up with $155,002.32 in restitution for the 37 victims who requested refunds for the amount they individually paid.

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

ABC7 News I-Team exclusively spoke with House of Aloha Hawaii Founder Wendy Tenedora Wong's parents who say the self-proclaimed virtual travel counselor owes them too.

The DA's Office says there were 48 victims and more than $200,000 lost in total for all victims, but not everyone requested restitution.

If Wong doesn't pay the restitution, the DA's Office says she could be sentenced up to one-year in custody and one-year of mandatory supervision.

If Wong pays the restitution, she would avoid custody but would still have two felony convictions and two years of formal probation according to the DA's Office.

"I really do hope everybody does get paid back that she's able to do that," said Maria Marr.

Wong's attorney told the I-Team, "We have no comment at this time."

Take a look at more stories by the ABC7 News I-Team.

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