LOS ANGELES (CN) - The owner of "Big Bad Student Travel" made it a practice to sell spring break trips to high school and college students, then cancel the holiday three days before departure and pocket the funds, according to California agents who arrested the owner on Friday.
California agents arrested Abel Moses Somilleda and charged him with ripping off students for $55,000 by promising spring break trips to resorts such as Cancun, Mexico.
Students paid approximately $700 to cover the expenses of their trip, said the California Attorney General's office. Somilleda knew three months prior that the trip was cancelled but continued to accept payments for reservations, according to the allegations.
It was only two to three days before the trip was scheduled to take place that Somilleda told students it had been cancelled. He allegedly promised to refund the money but instead used it to pay rent and utilities, and to buy groceries and dinners.
Somilleda opened Big Bad Student Travel in 2004 and has been in the student travel business for over ten years. He is being charged with nine counts of grand theft.