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Six years, $420k fine for StubHub fraudster

An Ohioan man has been sentenced to more than six years in prison for fraudulently buying hundreds of thousands of dollars’ worth of concert tickets and reselling them on the secondary market.

Twenty-nine-year-old Daniel Mercede, of Bay Village, near Cleveland, was yesterday issued with a 79-month prison term and a fine of US$424,222 by judge Sara Lioi after pleading guilty to bank fraud, access device fraud and operating an unlicensed money transmitting business.

According to court documents, Mercede used stolen credit card information from to buy tickets from recently acquired secondary ticketing site ScoreBig and resell them for profit on StubHub, earning more than $3 million – which he spent on “luxury cars, expensive jewelry [sic] and exotic vacations” – between 2014 and 2016.

“Mercede was motivated solely by greed. … Prison is the proper place for him”

“Mr Mercede was motivated solely by greed,” says the acting US attorney for northern Ohio, David A. Sierleja. “He has shown himself to be a serial scammer and identity thief who is a clear economic danger to the community. Prison is the proper place for him.”

The Internal Revenue Service’s Frank S. Turner II adds: “Daniel Mercede perpetrated a complex scheme involving identity theft and the illegal use of an unlicensed bitcoin exchange service that was driven by insatiable greed and a blatant disregard for the tremendous damage inflicted on innocent victims.

“Be assured that IRS Criminal Investigation, together with our law enforcement partners and the US attorney’s office, will hold those who engage in similar behaviour fully accountable.”

 


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Ticketmaster launches NA music division

David Marcus has rejoined Ticketmaster to oversee a newly formed music division in North America.

Marcus was the company’s senior vice-president of music from 2005 to 2008, where he headed up a team responsible for introducing several of Ticketmaster’s now-standard ticketing products, including fan-club presales, dynamically priced (Platinum) tickets and VIP packages. He rejoins TM from ScoreBig, the secondary ticketing site that filed for bankruptcy last September.

As executive vice-president, head of music, he will manage a single music division incorporating ticketing for venues and promoters; OnTour, TM’s artist services operation; and TicketWeb, a platform designed for smaller, club venues. He will report directly to Ticketmaster North America president Jared Smith.

“This new division will better position Ticketmaster to leverage our unique assets against the specific needs of the music ecosystem”

“This new division will better position Ticketmaster to leverage our unique assets against the specific needs of the music ecosystem,” says Smith. “We’re building a team here that can help an artist and the first set of clubs they play in and grow with them all the way to theatres, arenas and stadiums.

“We believe David’s successful history of working with artists, fans, and technology gives him the ability to guide our investments to ensure we provide the most comprehensive solutions for all the various players in the live music lifecycle.”

Marcus adds: “I couldn’t be more excited to rejoin Ticketmaster. I’ve spent my entire career developing products and businesses that connect fans more closely with the artists they love, and I’m passionate about the opportunity to continue that work here. We’re going to redefine the ticketbuying experience in a way that makes it more rewarding to be a fan, helps artists build bigger and more dynamic touring careers and ensures that our client venues and promoters have cutting-edge tools and technology to generate outsized returns on their live events.”

 


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TicketNetwork acquires bankrupt ScoreBig

Bankrupt secondary ticketing site ScoreBig has been snapped up by rival operation TicketNetwork.

As of 12 November, ScoreBig is under the management of “a subsidiary of TicketNetwork”, says the Connecticut-based company, which has “acquired and licensed select assets of the company formerly known as ScoreBig Inc., which went out of business in September of 2016”.

“TicketNetwork [has] no responsibility for anything that occurred on or related to the website or business prior to 12 November 2016”

TicketNetwork, which lists tickets to concerts, sporting events and theatrical shows, is, however, keen to emphasise that is has “no responsibility for anything that occurred on or related to [Scorebig] – whose former owners are facing lawsuits over thousands of dollars allegedly owed to ticket resellers – “prior to 12 November 2016”, and directs all creditors to ProofOfClaims.com to recover their money.

Before going into administration, ScoreBig operated under a model that would be illegal in many countries (in violation, for example, of the UK’s Consumer Rights Act 2015), deliberately concealing resellers’ identities to enable venues to offer discounts on tickets without “cannibalising their own box offices or angering season ticket holders who paid full price”.

 


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