Lawyers in two separate class action suits against YTB International were given two weeks to report on issues involving case consolidation.
After a status conference Monday, U.S. District Judge Patrick Murphy stayed pleadings and discovery until he rules whether to join the two similar cases filed in federal court in August.
The lawsuits claims YTB operates an illegal pyramid sales scheme and employs an illegal chain referral sales technique in violation of the Illinois Consumer Fraud and Deceptive Business Practices Act.
YTB provides Internet-based travel booking services for travel agencies and home-based independent representatives in the United States, Puerto Rico, Bermuda, the Bahamas, the U.S. Virgin Islands, and Canada.
The company operates through three subsidiaries, YourTravelBiz.com, Inc., YTB Travel Network, Inc., and REZconnect Technologies, Inc., all of which are also named as defendants in the case.
YTB is represented by Judy Cates of Swansea.
In the first suit filed Aug. 8, Faye Morrison of St. Louis and Kwame Thompson of Atlanta, seek at least $100 million in damages on behalf of the putative class. Morrison and Thompson are represented by Rex Carr, Christian Montroy and Michael Marker of East St. Louis, and Jay Kanzler, Jr. and Brian Massimino of St. Louis.
In the other suit filed Aug. 15, Jeffrey and Polly Hartman are represented by John Carey, Tiffany Marko and Francis "Casey" Flynn of Carey & Danis in St. Louis.