An Alexandria man pleaded guilty yesterday to defrauding a large church group here by promising them a $45 weekend bus trip to Disney World in Orlando, Fla., and delivering them only as far as Emporia, Va.
David L. Steed, 21, of 175 S. Reynolds St., Alexandria, was sent after the plea before U.S. District Judge Aubrey E. Robinson Jr. for a study to see if he is eligible for sentencing under the Youth Corrections Act.
Steed entered his plea to two felony charges after Assistant U.S. Attorney Robert W. Ogren of the fraud dividion outlined the scheme in which Steed got about $10,000 in deposits from members and others associated with the New Samaritan Baptist Church in Northeast Washington.
Steed disputed the amount of money Ogren said he had received from the group, saying much of it actually was spent on bus deposits and hotel reservations. However, he said he wanted to enter the guilty plea, anyway, with the advice of his attorney.
Ogren said Steed used part of the money to take a trip to the West Coast, and had never intended to go through with the Disney World trip for the church group.
Steed was arrested in late March after 500 members of the church group were stranded in Emporia, Va., instead of being taken to Disney World as they had been promised. According to evidence outlined by Ogren yesterday, Steed told the group he would be able to provide the trip cheaply because another group had canceled it plans after making a deposit.
Steed originally was released on bond in the Disney World fraud case, but since has been rearrested on charges of issuing bad checks in Virginia and two other states, according to statements in court yesterday.