PORTLAND — A former Saco travel agent accused of stealing money from her clients has asked that her sentencing be postponed until next year.

Beth Rogers pleaded guilty March 17 in U.S. District Court to charges of mail fraud and wire fraud. She owned and operated the now-closed TravelWise Cruises and Tours, which was located on Main Street in Saco.

Rogers faces up to 20 years in prison and a $250,000 fine for each of the charges, according to court documents.

Rogers misappropriated money from more than 50 clients from late-2011 to mid-2012, according to court documents. Court documents only detail two of the reported incidents, adding up to $8,047 in fraud.

Rogers often encouraged her clients to pay by check rather than credit card, saying they would receive a discount, according to court records. Rogers took checks given to her by clients, deposited them into a bank account, and did not use them to purchase travel arrangements, according to court records.

Court records indicate that Rogers took the account numbers of clients who had paid by credit card and used them to pay for other clients’ travel packages without permission.

Rogers often sent clients false invoices claiming travel arrangements had been made, according to court documents.

Rogers, who is scheduled to appear in U.S. District Court in Portland for sentencing on Oct. 8, is asking, through attorney David Weyrens, to delay the sentencing a year, to give her time to earn money, so she can contribute toward restitution before sentencing.

According to court documents, Rogers had been saving money toward restitution, and her attorney asked in a pre-conference meeting in July if she could give that money to a victim’s fund at that time. The request was granted, and Rogers gave a check of nearly $7,200 to the court.

According to court documents, Rogers works as a manager for a dress shop in Portland’s Old Port called Style Me Portland, making $15 an hour, and is also employed as a nanny. She also sews, and makes handbags she features on a Facebook page and sells to cruise ship visitors. According to court documents, Rogers sent a $600 check to the court this month, and anticipates making similar payments each month going forward.

“Defendant is desirous of working hard and with a focus on putting money into the restitution account to pay back those former customers of hers who have been wronged,” wrote Weyrens.

— Staff Writer Liz Gotthelf can be contacted at 282-1535, ext. 325 or [email protected]


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