Jacksonville, Florida – Juan Carlos Arteaga (58, Conroe, TX) today pleaded guilty to one count of wire fraud. He faces a maximum penalty of 20 years in federal prison. Arteaga has agreed to pay at least $779,687 in restitution to the victims of his offenses. A sentencing date has not yet been set.

According to the plea agreement, from at least March 2018 through at least January 2019, Arteaga, a former resident of Jacksonville, held himself out as someone who could provide customers with heavily discounted travel arrangements for both domestic and international travel. He acted as a travel agent for clients throughout Florida and the United States. Despite operating as a de facto travel agent, Arteaga was not a licensed travel agent. 

Arteaga solicited friends, business contacts, acquaintances, and referrals from those individuals to purchase sham travel arrangements from him, including but not limited to domestic and international airfare, hotel rooms, and tickets to amusement parks. Arteaga used some of the funds he obtained from victims to purchase travel arrangements for others, which delayed discovery of the scheme since it appeared that the money victims paid was being used to purchase the travel they had requested. Arteaga also used some of the proceeds from the scheme for his personal enrichment, including his mortgage payment, short term loans, credit card and cable bills, grocery purchases, nursing home expenses, and withdrawing large amounts of…

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