The really sad thing is that this isn't the first time and probably won't be the last.
ALWAYS use a credit card when booking travel through any third party.
A number of years ago there was a prominent Miami agent who ran off with his customer's money and there were a lot of Condo Commando's that were not happy. A number of long time Cruisemates remember him. He actually had a fairly good reputation but it was sad to find out what he was doing
He took off with over $90,000.
Locally, there was a large company called Hobbit Travel that went under. They showed the classic signs of being in trouble. Payments were going to them, and not the cruise lines or vacation providers, and they were "floating" the money to the vendors. They couldn't wait until the commissions came in or they would go under. It didn't work. A number of people lost their cruises because of this. A friend of mine booked with them and when I asked if the invoice came from the cruise line or Hobbit Travel, he responded. "Hobbit". I told him to cancel immediately and call my agent. He did and got the same cruise for the same price. He would have been one of the people who would have lost their cruise and their full fare. Luckily, he received his money back from the cancellation just a month before the company went under.
Quite often agents and agencies get in financial trouble and they "think" they can get out by floating the payments for a while. It usually doesn't work in the long run and rarely works out well for the client.