SANTA ANA, Calif. – A Southern California man has been sentenced to five years in prison for selling fake travel packages to Cuba.
California Attorney General Jerry Brown said Tuesday that Ralph Rendon will also pay $154,000 in restitution to his victims after pleading guilty to one count of grand theft in Orange County Superior Court.
The 33-year-old Rendon advertised the trips to Cuba in religious magazines and claimed customers would connect with those who practiced the Jewish and Greek Orthodox faiths in Cuba.
Rendon sold trips to 41 people but told them the trips were canceled by the U.S. Treasury Department.
He did not refund the customers' money and spent it on a Mercedes, to pay his rent and to hire a divorce lawyer.