Ticket “forward market” facilitator FirstDIBZ is effectively non-operational these days, as the beleaguered company prepares for possible settlement talks to begin compensating customers who have waited months to access their money.
The Chicago-based company, which managed online marketplaces where sports fans bought and sold options on event tickets, was nearly destroyed in early 2009 when it fell victim to a massive ticket fraud where fake NFL playoff and Super Bowl “dibz” were allegedly sold and re-sold with no tangible tickets attached to them.
As a result, hundreds of fans were reportedly stiffed of their dibz earnings, though the company tried to make reparations to as many disgruntled fans as it could. Company put its losses at more than $1 million, but an exact accounting has never been disclosed.
Pennsylvania-based attorney Andrew Sciolla, who represents about 50 former FirstDIBZ customers, told TicketNews that he and FirstDIBZ attorneys are having “ongoing discussions regarding the resolution” of the case, but he could not elaborate on the specifics.
“I’m still being contacted three to four times a week from former customers about this case,” Sciolla said, adding that his understanding is that as many as 400 people could be affected by the case. Currently, the FirstDIBZ Web site is still up, but all marketplace activity has been suspended, pending a resolution of the legal matter.
“I anticipate we’ll start talks again within the next four weeks, but they have yet to produce any documentation about the exact amount of their losses,” he said.
FirstDIBZ is represented by Charles Leuin of the august law firm Greenberg Traurig, LLP, but Leuin did not immediately respond to messages seeking comment.
Part of the delay in a resolution with customers can be attributed to unrelated legal wrangling over an alleged patent infringement case FirstDIBZ filed against yoonew, OptionIt and viagogo.
The specter of a positive resolution in that case in FirstDIBZ’s favor contributed to the recent downfall of yoonew, which essentially ran out of money in part due to litigating the lawsuit.