Today’s news:

Flushing travel agent found guilty of fraud

A Flushing travel agent who bilked would−be travelers out of thousands of dollars was convicted of fraud charges Friday, according to Queens District Attorney Richard Brown.

The DA said Jagdeep Pujji, 56, of 133−24 Sanford Ave., faces up to 36 years in prison for using several travel Web sites to fool customers into believing they were getting discount airline tickets for vacations to Europe, Asia, Africa and other international destinations.

The DA said Pujji got the customers to pay for the tickets, which he never produced.

“The defendant has been convicted of ripping off seven online consumers by stealing their money and their dream vacations,” Brown said. “Hardworking consumers who had, in some cases, saved for the trip of a lifetime later learned that their purported travel agent was in fact a criminal.”

Pujji, convicted of grand larceny and scheming to defraud charges in Queens Criminal Court, was scheduled to be sentenced by Queens Supreme Court Justice Robert Kohm Nov. 19.

Brown said Pujji’s scam should be a wake−up call to travelers looking online for cheap airfare.

“Consumers should be aware that in exchange for the convenience of the Internet in making travel plans, they also may be unwittingly opening their front doors to schemers and should proceed with caution before sending checks or cash.”

Reach reporter Stephen Stirling by e−mail at Sstirling@timesledger.com or by phone at 718−229−0300, ext. 138.

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