Travel agent owes Smithfield students more than $30K


DEANNA LEBLANC, 10 ON YOUR SIDE. (LAURA) NEW INFORMATION ON A CASE WE’VE BEEN FOLLOWING FOR MORE THAN TWO YEARS NOW. (LAURA) A TRAVEL AGENT ACCUSED OF BILKING HIGH SCHOOL STUDENTS OUT OF THOUSANDS OF DOLLARS WAS BACK IN COURT. (STEPHANIE) AUGUSTINE ACHEAMPONG ACCEPTED A PLEA DEAL AND WAS SUPPOSED TO BE SENTENCED TODAY. PROSECUTORS SAY HE TOOK 60-THOUSAND DOLLARS THAT WAS SUPPOSED TO BE USED FOR A CLASS TRIP. OUR JASON MARKS WAS IN COURT TODAY – AND JASON, THEY’RE GIVING HIM MORE TIME TO PAY THE MONEY BACK? (JASON) HIS ATTORNEY IS HOPING THAT IF ALL THE RESTITUTION IS PAID BACK THEN HE COULD AVOID JAIL TIME.. (JASON) OF COURSE IF YOU ASK THE STUDENTS AND PARENTS FROM SMITHFIELD HIGH- THEY’LL TELL YOU THEY WANT THE MONEY BACK AND THEY ALSO WANT ACHEAMPONG TO BE TAUGHT A LESSON BEHIND BARS. (UNDER VIDEO) (PAULA MANSON/EMBEZZLEMENT VICTIM) “IT HAS BEEN EXTREMELY FRUSTRATING. IT HAS BEEN EXPECTED. INSTEAD OF A TRIP TO EUROPE THEY ENDED UP WITH DOZENS OF COURT APPEARANCES IN A CASE THAT DOESN’T SEEM TO WANT TO FINISH. (CLAIRE PIATAK/EMBEZZLEMENT VICTIM) “THERE IS NEVER ANY CONCLUSION TO IT. IT IS JUST CONTINUING ON GOING GOING FOR SO LONG” IN 2015– STUDENTS PAID NORTHERN VIRGINIA TRAVEL AGENT AUGUSTINE ACHEAMPONG THOUSANDS OF DOLLARS TO TO TAKE A TRIP TO EUROPE. A DAYS BEFORE THEY WERE SET TO LEAVE ACHEAMPONG CANCELED. HE NEVER RETURNED THE MONEY. (ALEXIS MANSON/EMBEZZLEMENT VICTIM) “EXTREMELY DISAPPOINTING BECAUSE WE HAD BEEN PLANNING IT FOR OVER A YEAR AT THAT POINT. WE WERE SUPPOSED TO LEAVE THE NEXT DAY WE WERE PACKING GETTING READY TO GO SO IT WAS A BIG DISAPPOINTMENT.” IN FEBRUARY– ACHEAMPONG CUT A PLEA DEAL TO 10 COUNTS OF EMBEZZLEMENT. HE TOOK AN ALFROD PLEA MEANING HE DIDN’T ADMIT GUILT BUT ADMITTED THERE WOULD BE ENOUGH EVIDENCE TO CONVICT HIM. (PAULA MANSON/EMBEZZLEMENT VICTIM) “HE HAS NO REMORSE OVER THIS HE DOESN’T THINK HE HAS DONE ANYTHING WRONG” TODAY IN COURT– 10 ON YOUR SIDE LEARNED HE STILL OWED THE STUDENTS 31 THOUSAND DOLLARS. HIS ATTORNEY TOLD THE JUDGE THEY COULD PAY MOST OF THE MONEY TODAY BUT NEEDED MORE TIME. THE JUDGE DECIDED TO DELAY SENTENCING FOR HIM TO COME UP WITH THE REST. (CLAIRE PIATAK/EMBEZZLEMENT VICTIM) “YOU DON’T REALLY KNOW IF HE IS ACTUALLY GOING TO PAY US IF THE MONEY IS EVEN THERE OR IF THEY ARE JUST TRYING TO PUT OFF THE INEVITABLE. EVEN IF THE MONEY IS ALL PAID BACK PROSECUTORS SAY THEY WILL STILL PUSH FOR SOME JAIL TIME. IN A COUPLE OF WEEKS THEY WILL BE BACK IN COURT HOPEFULLY THE LAST CHAPTER TO THE JOURNEY. (ALEXIS MANSON/EMBEZZLEMENT VICTIM) “HE NEEDS TO REALIZE THAT HE HAS DONE WRONG BECAUSE I DON’T THINK HE REALIZES THAT YET” (JASON) ACHEAMPONG IS CURRENTLY IN JAIL AFTER HE DIDN’T SHOW UP TO A PREVIOUS COURT DATE. HE WILL REMAIN THERE UNTIL HIS SENTENCING JUNE

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *