A Minnesota travel counselor has pleaded guilty to defrauding at least three dozen fellow travel agents in a scam to line their pockets.
Matthew Schumacher, 45, pleaded guilty in federal court this week after admitting to robbing agents he convinced to use his two host agencies in order to receive higher commissions on airline sales, from hotels and cruises.
The scam involved nearly half a million dollars, according to KROC News.
Prosecutors say Schumacher convinced agents to use his two agencies – Travel Troops, LLC and Vacation Agent Nation, LLP – to collect higher commissions from airlines, resorts and other travel-related companies. .
It never happened.
According to court documents, Schumacher defrauded at least 36 agents by embezzling $ 484,000 in funds for his personal use and benefit, funds which the agents sent to him.
Prosecutors said Schumacher deposited $ 160,000 in a personal account, spent around $ 150,000 on his own travel expenses, withdrew $ 33,000 in cash and used the money for personal expenses such as restaurant bills, car and credit card payments and StubHub ticket purchases.
He will be sentenced at a later date.