Arkansas AG: Judge Orders Travel Agent To Pay $4 Million

May 30, 2013

Attorney General Dustin McDaniel says a judge ordered a travel agent to pay more than $4 million in penalties and restitution after he allegedly took money without providing a promised trip to Hawaii for two Arkansas marching bands.

McDaniel's office said Thursday that a Pulaski County judge ordered Ope Saaga to pay more than $400,000 in restitution and $3.86 million in civil penalties.

McDaniel sued Saaga last year, alleging that he violated the Arkansas Deceptive Trade Practices Act by failing to provide the travel services paid for by the Fort Smith Southside High School band and the east Arkansas-based "Spirit of Arkansas" band.

McDaniel's office said Saaga didn't respond to the state's lawsuit and was not present at Thursday's hearing.

Court records don't list a lawyer for Saaga.