MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — The owner of two Minnesota travel agencies is accused of defrauding at least 36 travel agents out of nearly $500,000, according to a federal indictment released Wednesday.
Matthew Schumacher, 44, is charged with four counts of wire fraud. Authorities say he was the owner and operator of Travel Troops, LLC and Vacation Agent Nation, LLP, which were host travel agencies based in Waseca.
Authorities said Schumacher offered to provide travel services to independent agents throughout the country in exchange for a monthly fee and promised higher commission rates from airlines, resorts, and cruise companies.
Instead, the indictment stated, he kept $484,000 in commission payments owed to the agents and tried to “lull them into a false sense of security” by providing them with partial payments and giving them false information.
Schumacher allegedly used the money for personal travel to Australia, the Caribbean, Mexico, Alaska and several European countries, and covered personal expenses such as retail purchases, restaurant bills, car payments, credit card bills, StubHub ticket purchases, and loan payments.
Schumacher’s attorney, John Scott, did not immediately respond to an email message seeking comment.
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