Officials: Unlicensed travel agent scammed customers out of thousands of dollars

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Lawrenceville police are looking for a travel agent who they say scammed clients out of tens of thousands of dollars.

Families say Denise Fredericks never booked their trips and canceled hotel reservations after taking their money.

Officials say she tricked some families into going as far as arriving at the airport, only for them to realize their tickets were never booked, or were canceled.

Police have a warrant out for Fredericks' arrest. She's facing financial transaction card fraud and identity fraud charges.

Lawrenceville police say Fredericks has gotten away with tens of thousands of dollars from multiple families.

Some of the travelers say they trusted Fredericks because she had booked trips for them before, including a destination wedding. They never had an issue, until this summer.

One victim is Dawn Paul, from Fairburn. She was supposed to spend part of her summer in Jamaica with more than 20 other family members. "We celebrate big moments," says Paul. The family was celebrating Paul's cousin turning 50 years old. It was also the second anniversary of her cousin passing, so the family was looking forward to celebrating his life.

But that was taken away when the family booked their trip through Fredericks and got scammed. Paul says, "family time is everything it really is we can't get that back. So part of it is losing money, but you can always make money. But you can't get back missed time with family."

Another victim, Debra Wheeler, says she was a long-time customer of Fredericks. But this summer, she says she couldn't get her flight information. She says Fredericks told her there was a problem with the plane tickets the week of the trip. But after that, Fredericks disappeared.

Wheeler says, "we were devastated and we still are because she is not a stranger to us. We've been doing business with her for the last 9 years."

Victims say even if they got all their money back, it wouldn't replace the memories lost from not being able to go on vacation.

Detective Kevin Dyals with Lawrenceville police said, "the evidence now shows [Fredericks] kept that money for her own personal use." Detectives say Fredericks' business has not been properly licensed since 2012.