This story was updated on Thursday, May 27, 2010, at 1:33pm EST to reflect that charges against Justin Beaune have been dismissed, and a settlement was reached between him and Ice Entertainment LLC.
A Provo, UT-based ticket brokerage is out a reported $318,000 after an alleged con man scammed the company by trying to trade on the Ticket Technology name and reputation.
Ice Entertainment LLC (IE) hired 26-year-old Canadian Justin Beaune as a consultant in the fall of 2008 after he convinced the company he could help them create a commerce Web site for secondary ticket sales, Ice Entertainment President Jared Budge told TicketNews. From there, Beaune allegedly set up an elaborate fraud scheme to bilk money from IE, and according to Utah’s Daily Herald newspaper, he has been arrested and charged with second-degree felony communications fraud.
Beaune allegedly set up a fake company in Wyoming called Ticket Technologies, but told IE that he was working with Ticket Technology on the Web site. Ticket Technology was bought by StubHub late last year, and Beaune has no connection to the company.
StubHub declined to comment.
Beaune then had IE make out checks totaling $148,000 to Ticket Technologies, not Ticket Technology, and he reportedly pocketed the money. He subsequently also allegedly embezzled another $170,000 from IE, and after discovering the alleged theft, IE informed local police, and the department investigated the matter and arrested Beaune at the IE offices during one of his regular consulting visits. He reportedly denied stealing any money from the company, stating to police that executives with IE knew everything he was doing.
On a separate note, according to the Daily Herald, Beaune is believed to have also been involved in a fraudulent securities investment scam in Canada, where he and others allegedly defrauded clients out of tens of millions of dollars.
Beaune was introduced to Budge and IE through a mutual acquaintance who Budge declined to name. Budge added that while the alleged theft is painful, it will not affect the company’s operations, and in the meantime the company’s Web site is still a work in progress. The company is seeking restitution with the help of the Utah County Attorney’s office.
“We are looking forward putting this unfortunate incident behind us and moving forward with our business plan,” Budge said.
As of May 2010, all criminal charges against Beaune were dismissed and “all claims” between Ice Entertainment LLC and Beaune “have been resolved,” according to an “All-Encompassing Settlement Agreement” document provided by Beaune’s legal representatives and signed by the two parties.