Rhode Island man charged in Caribbean vacation scam

File photo by Steve Klamkin WPRO News

EAST PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) – A Rhode Island man has been charged with collecting $1,000 apiece from as many as 58 people for a Caribbean getaway that was never booked.

East Providence police say 57-year-old Anthony DeBarros is charged with obtaining money under false pretenses and unlawful appropriation.

Police say DeBarros took the money from the alleged victims for a trip to Aruba but as the date of the trip approached, no one received an itinerary. Police say DeBarros stopped returning phone calls or provided false information to people.

Investigators say DeBarros told them he used the money to pay bills and to make personal purchases.

It’s not clear if DeBarros has an attorney.

WPRI-TV says a reporter who went to DeBarros’ home for comment was asked to leave.