Travel agent who scammed Smithfield High students ordered to pay back nearly 10K

Posted at 10:31 PM, Jun 21, 2017
and last updated 2017-06-21 22:32:11-04

Augustine Acheampong

SMITHFIELD, Va. – Augustine Acheampong was sentenced Wednesday on 10 counts of embezzlement.

In November 2015 a Grand Jury in Isle of Wight County returned indictments for embezzlement against Acheampong.

Acheampong operated Grade A Travel in Lorton, Virginia and had been in contact with more than a dozen students from Smithfield High School’s Spanish program about a trip to Europe over the summer.

Two days before they were set to leave, students said they received a phone call from Acheampong, notifying them that the trip was canceled and that he would be giving them a refund.

The refund never came. That’s when the victims reached out to authorities for help.

An official with the Isle of Wight Commonwealth’s Attorney said Acheampong was sentenced to five years for one count and five years for the other nine counts but all the years were suspended, leaving no active jail time.

The suspended time counts on the conditions that Acheampong pay $9,440 (restitution remaining), $1000 per month, starting July 15.

The money is to be paid in full by December 15.

Acheampong also has to serve 200 hours of community service and five years of supervised probation. There is also a zero tolerance for drugs, the official said.