Travel Agency Owner Sentenced to 2 Years in Prison for Wire Fraud
MINNEAPOLIS (WJON News) – A Waseca man has been sentenced to 2 years in prison for wire fraud.
According to court documents, from August 2016 to January 2019, 46-year-old Matthew Schumacher owned and operated Travel Troops, LLC.
Schumacher misappropriated commission payments meant for travel agents for his own personal use. After customers booked their travel arrangements with travel agents, the travel suppliers provided Schumacher with the commission payments due to respective independent travel agents who booked the travel. However, as part of Schumacher’s scheme to obtain and retain travel agents’ money for himself without their knowledge or consent, Schumacher routinely provided his travel agents with materially false and fraudulent information.
Schumacher lied to travel agents that their commission money would be paid to them, when, in fact, he kept all of the victims’ money or, in other instances, despite refund requests, he provided some victims with commission payments that were late, incomplete or both.
According to court documents, Schumacher defrauded at least 36 travel agents nationwide of their primary income source. Schumacher deposited at least $160,000 in victims’ funds to his personal account which he used for personal travel expenses, cash withdrawals, retail purchases, car payments, credit card bills, entertainment tickets, and loan payments.
He also withdrew thousands of dollars in cash and spent at least $150,000 in victims’ money on his own travel expenses.
On June 30, 2021, Schumacher plead guilty to one count of wire fraud.