SAN DIEGO, California (CBS11) – A couple who once organized and cancelled a band trip for some North Texas high schoolers without refunds, now face charges for cancelling similar trips for students in California.
Bradley and Margaret Matheson are charged with 93 felony counts after cancelling trips for dozens of students at four San Diego-area schools.
Police arrested Bradley Matheson in Florida on Wednesday.
Police say they’re still looking for Margaret.
Bradley Matheson, 52, and Margaret Matheson, 43, together operating as Harmony International, have been charged with 93 felony counts and 2 misdemeanor counts, including embezzlement, failing to maintain passenger funds in a trust account, and failing to provide refunds. The total loss to the high school band students and their families is $99,000, and 32 victims are identified in the indictment.
“These defendants took money from the students and their families, then turned around and spent it on business and personal expenses instead of honoring their agreement,” said District Attorney Summer Stephan. “Our Consumer Protection Unit’s investigation has been thorough and it’s our hope that these charges will not only hold the defendants accountable but will also result in restitution for the victims.”
“The California Department of Justice is committed to protecting students and their families from predatory practices,” said Attorney General Xavier Becerra. “Today’s action is an important step toward justice for the San Diego area families affected by this scam.”
At the time the students were told the trip was called off due to the risk of terrorism.This past summer, a European trip for some Aledo High School students was cancelled without refunds being issued.