WHITTIER, CA (FOX 11) - Graduates of Whittier’s La Serna High School are furious after they say they were scammed out of a graduation trip to Mexico that they had each paid thousands of dollars for.
A group of around 30 parents and graduates tell FOX 11 they paid a company called Senior Grad Trips around $1,500 each for graduation trip to Cancun, but when they showed up to LAX Sunday night for their flight, they were told the tickets had been cancelled.
“My friend got there first and her passport wasn’t swiping, there was nothing, no tickets under her name. Then we all got there and we kept trying,” said Angela O’Brien. “Delta ended up telling us, they held the flight off for as long as they could, and they ended up telling us he cancelled the reservation two days before the flight.”
The graduates told FOX 11 they also called the hotel in Mexico and found out there were no rooms under their names either.
“We knew something was wrong and Delta was trying to be patient but the guy was just being weird, George wasn’t answering on the phone,” said Julian Garcia. I just felt more embarrassed, like it makes it look like it’s a slap in my face and i tried so hard with my money and everything.”
Parents of the graduates told FOX 11 they are outraged.
“My son was going on the trip, pitched in, saved up just like the rest of these kids,” said Chuck Chavez. “To find out at the last minute at the airport that this was all just a huge scam was just absolutely devastating.”
“He’s evil and he ruined a very special time for my son,” said Iris Aguilar. “He needs to be found and prosecuted.”
Senior Grad Trips has a one star rating on Yelp, and every single review accuses the company of being a scam.
The owner of the company is a man named George Barragan.
According to KVOA-TV in Tucson, AZ, Barragan is accused of scamming people in several other states, and is currently being investigated by the FBI and Attorney Generals in Texas and Arizona.
On Monday, Barragan sent a letter to the aka Serna High grads, apologizing, claiming he did pay for the trip, and promising refunds within 30 days.
“I don’t want a refund, I want to press charges, I want him to go to jail,” O’Brien said.
A police report was filed with LASD and LAX police.
Neither Barragan nor his company responded to FOX 11’s requests for comment on Monday.
A GoFundMe Page has bee set up to help the graduates try and recover sone of their losses.