Four fraudulent online ticket brokers indicted on 43 counts

FBIFederal prosecutors Monday disclosed that the four accused ticket brokers - Kenneth Lowson; Kristofer Kirsch; Faisal Nahdi, all from Los Angeles; and Joel Stevenson from Alameda, California – have been indicted on 43 counts of fraud, conspiracy, and computer hacking charges.

The prosecutors said that three of the four accused men surrendered at FBI headquarters in Newark, New Jersey, on Monday morning; while Nahdi has not yet surrendered as he is presently not in the US.

The fraudulent ticket brokers, who pocketed over $25 million in profits from the resale of nearly 1.5 million “most coveted tickets” between 2002 and 2009, operated as ‘Wiseguy Tickets’ and ran an elaborate hacking scheme, using Captcha bots and other deceitful means, to buy and resell tickets – for concerts by Bruce Springsteen, Hannah Montana, Bon Jovi, Barbara Streisand, and Billy Joel; and sporting events like the 2006 Rose Bowl, and 2007 Major League Baseball playoff games at Yankee Stadium; and a host of TV shows.

‘Wiseguy Tickets’ had set up a countrywide network via which the four men posed as individual ticket buyers – thereby trouncing the security measures initiated by online-ticket sellers like Ticketmaster, Tickets. com, and Musictoday to prevent the purchase of automated tickets.

The accused face up to five years in prison on conspiracy charges, and 20 years sentence on each count of ‘wire fraud.’ In addition, each of the accused also faces a fine of $250,000 per count of conviction.