- The Washington Times - Tuesday, March 31, 2015

A Utah travel agent was sentenced Monday to more than five years in federal prison for stealing more than $272,000 from an Arkansas high school band for a bogus trip to Hawaii.

Calliope “Ope” Rocky Sagga, 40, who ran Performing Hawaii Tours and Present America Tours, swindled the funds from the band at Southside High School in Fort Smith between September 2011 and February 2012, authorities said.

Sagga accepted three separate payments from the band, but instead of arranging the trip, he kept the money, according to court records.

The band trip to Hawaii was subsequently canceled due to a lack of funds.

The U.S. District Court sentenced Sagga to 63 months in prison and three years of supervised release on one count of wire fraud. The court also ordered Sagga to pay $272,235.89 in restitution.

“Approximately 260 students, parents, and chaperones were denied a once-in-a-lifetime band trip because of this defendant’s greed in using the funds he was entrusted to handle for his own personal use,” said U.S. Attorney for the Western District of Arkansas Conner Eldridge.

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