Travel agency in talks with lenders, real estate investors to repay customers

The owner of a Waipahu travel agency is scrambling to raise at least $100,000 to repay customers.

We first told you last week that customers of Diplomat Travel and Tours reached out to Action Line for help, claiming the owner took their money but never paid for their plane tickets to the Philippines.

Elma Pacleb’s attorney, Michael Green, says he is working with her to “make things right.”

“These people were injured. They didn’t do anything to deserve it,” Green said. “My client believed she would have the money in place so no one misses a trip, and it didn’t happen.”

Green says he spoke with the tour company owner Monday morning. He says Pacleb has two things “in the works,” including working with potential lenders.

As for Green, he’s working with people in the real estate industry to see if Pacleb can get financing for certain properties.

“Is there anything else (or will customers get) just their money back?” KHON2 asked.

“What else can she do? Maybe free trips or trips that are dramatically discounted,” Green responded. “She didn’t agree to that. That’s what I’m suggesting to her. If it works, it works. I can only suggest and put in place the plans, and hopefully we get it done. It’s not because we’re not trying.”

Green says Pacleb is accepting responsibility, and that both are working together and will find out if the lenders and real estate investors are on board with the plan sometime this week.

HPD has opened an investigation into Diplomat Travel and Tours. A spokeswoman says only one report was filed so far.

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