UK Ticket Scammers Found Guilty of Fraudulent Trading
Two scammers responsible for scalping tickets to music and theatre events to the tune of £10.8 million, were found guilty of fraudulent trading and possessing an article for fraud this week.
Over a two and a half year period, Peter Hunter and David Smith used 97 false identities, 88 addresses, and over 280 email addresses, as well as ticketing bots to score £4m worth of tickets to events.
The twosome targeted large swaths of seats to high-profile events including Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, as well as Ed SHeeran and Taylor Swift concerts, selling them for more than double the value on secondary ticketing sites including Viagogo, GetMein, StubHub and Seatwave.
Prosecutor Jonathan Sandiford argued that the touts are "dishonest fraudsters motivated by greed."
The scammers, however, argue that they did nothing wrong, pointing to thousands of positive reviews for their services as proof of their stance as a trusted ticket source.
Their representation argued that the two provided as service to artists as well as fans, acting as a go-between for artists who fail to sell out venues and fans who miss the short window of purchase for popular events.
Despite their breaching the terms and conditions of ticket sellers, they argue that touting is not inherently a criminal act, deeming many of the rules around the issue "unenforceable."
The two were granted bail until their sentence is handed down next week.
The decision marks a landmark victory against the re-selling market and is the first of its kind since the National Trading Standards eCrime team began its investigation of the secondary ticket market.
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