UPPER MARLBORO, MD (August 24, 2022) – Former Hyattsville travel agent Lorena Balbuena-Aguilar has pled guilty to a theft scheme and has been sentenced to three years with, all but 360 days suspended. The investigation revealed that Balbuena-Aguilar defrauded numerous victims out of money over the course of one year’s time.
From 2018 to 2019 she ran an unlicensed travel agency (Azteka Travel & Services, LLC), targeting primarily the Hispanic community. She accepted money from victims and promised to book their flights. When individuals called the airlines to confirm they were told that no payment was received. Balbuena-Aguilar would tell the individuals to book another flight and promised to reimburse the airfare. However, she never reimbursed them.
After completing the active portion of her sentence, Balbuena-Aguilar will be on five years of supervised probation and will be required to pay restitution to the six families who lost money in the amount of $12,637.00. She also pled guilty to a violation of her previous probation for an identical theft scheme for which she is pending sentencing.
“I am pleased that Ms. Balbuena-Aguilar has taken responsibility for this crime,” said State’s Attorney Aisha Braveboy. “This is not the first time that she has defrauded individuals, but hopefully this sends a message that we won’t tolerate this. Financial crimes are devastating to the victims and we are glad that we have achieved justice for those who were taken advantage of by Ms. Balbuena-Aguilar.”