- Associated Press - Wednesday, October 15, 2014

SPRINGFIELD, Mo. (AP) - A travel agent from Utah has pleaded guilty to a fraud scheme that forced a southwest Missouri high school band to cancel a trip to Hawaii.

Forty-year-old Calliope Saaga of Saratoga Springs, Utah, pleaded guilty Wednesday to one count of wire fraud for stealing about $360,000 from the Willard High School Band Boosters in July 2011.

The fraud scheme forced the cancellation of a trip to Hawaii for more than 300 students and chaperones.

Saaga was doing business as Present America Tours when he contracted with the Willard band boosters to arrange a June 2012 band trip to Hawaii. The boosters paid Saaga about $360,000 between February 2011 and January 2012.

Prosecutors say Saaga used the money for personal expenses, including at least 47 days gambling in Las Vegas.


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