One of the principal brokers from National Events Company (NECO) was named in court documents last week as a client of accused ticket scammers Wiseguy Tickets, as federal prosecutors argued for the court not to suppress evidence they obtained from the broker.
Veteran New York ticket broker Michael Leshinsky was named in court documents as the person behind the AOL e-mail account “email@example.com,” which federal prosecutors used a warrant to search as part of their investigation into the Wiseguys’ case.
“Specifically, they [defendants] seek to suppress evidence seized from (1) an e-mail account of ticket broker Michael Leshinsky, a client of Wiseguys; (2) corporate e-mail accounts belonging to Wiseguys and SOSF [Seats of San Francisco]; (3) domain accounts belonging to Wiseguys and SOSF; and (4) mac.com e-mail accounts regularly used by Wiseguys employees for business purposes and often paid for by Wiseguys,” the prosecutors’ filing states.
Leshinsky is the first broker named as a former client of Wiseguy Tickets, and he is believed to have cooperated with authorities in the case because he consented to the search. He is a former colleague of Drew Gainor, who recently resigned from NECO to create the new broker-owned ticket exchange Ticket Evolution.
TicketNews tried to reach Leshinsky today, August 11, but he did not return a message seeking comment. He is not accused of any wrongdoing, nor was he mentioned in the original indictment of the principals in Wiseguy Tickets. Prosecutors revealed his identity because attorneys for Kenneth Lowson, Kristofer Kirsch, Joel Stevenson and Faisal Nahdi tried to have the information obtained from the search of Leshinsky’s AOL account suppressed, which prosecutors argue they cannot do, in part because the account is not theirs.
“Warrant 08-8149 obtained the contents of the AOL e-mail account firstname.lastname@example.org (‘the Leshinsky AOL Account’). Michael Leshinsky, a ticket broker and customer of Wiseguy Tickets, owned, controlled and used the Leshinsky AOL Account. Defendants and their companies never employed Leshinsky or had access to his account. Defendants therefore have no Fourth Amendment standing over the Leshinsky AOL Account,” the prosecutors’ filing states.
In what prosecutors called “an effort to conceal Wiseguys’ activities,” Lowson allegedly transferred the company’s operations to a new entity called “Seats of San Francisco,” and set up defendant Nahdi as the owner, and the principals allegedly used several company names in order to do business.
Nahdi, chief financial officer of Wiseguy Tickets, was named as the fourth indicted person, but he bolted the country prior to the indictments and has steadfastly refused to return to the U.S. to face the charges.
The Wiseguys case is being litigated before U.S. District Court Judge Katharine S. Hayden in New Jersey, and she is expected to rule on the suppression arguments sometime in the next several weeks or months. Earlier in the summer, the defendants received support from the Electronic Frontier Foundation and others who argued they legally bought the tickets they are accused of obtaining through alleged computer hacking.