Gene Hammett, whose wholesale ticket broker business Action Seating imploded after he was allegedly scammed out of millions of dollars worth of Vancouver Olympic tickets, is back at the helm of a new ticket resale concern, Action Sports Tours.
Located in Suwanee, GA, and apparently using Action Seating’s old telephone number, the new venture also has made selling Olympic ticket and tour packages one of the center pieces of its business plan.
“Let Action Sports Tours customize a London Summer Events trip of a lifetime. Use the form below to give us an idea of what your needs are. An Action Sports Tours representative will contact you shortly,” the Web site states.
Hammett, who told TicketNews in July that he was not planning on returning to secondary ticketing, did not return a message this week seeking comment, and attempts to call Action Sports Tours at the listed telephone numbers were unsuccessful.
The Vancouver Olympics ticket debacle was an alleged scam where about 17,000 tickets — worth a total of about $3 million — were never delivered to brokers and fans. Action Seating took orders from brokers and contracted with David Bunevacz, who allegedly had Olympics contacts, for the tickets, paying him in installments that totaled the $3 million. Bunevacz alleges that his supplier, a Hong Kong-based financing company called Mocra Limited, took the money but never provided the tickets.
Since then, lawsuits have been filed but the money has not yet been returned. Hammett turned over all evidence of the deal to the court, but his attorney’s claim that Bunevacz has yet to fully comply.
Hammett shut down the eight-year-old Action Seating earlier in the year as a result of the legal situation, but on the new company’s Web site, Action Sports Tours is referred to as if it has been around all those years.
“Since 2002, Action Sports Tours has enabled clients to experience a variety of events around the world, from The Masters to World Cup Football. Our team is passionate about providing exceptional service because, just like you, we’re also fans who attend the events. Our passion, combined with knowledge, experience and one of the largest inventories in the industry, means the next event Action Sports Tours plans for you will be unforgettable,” the Web site states.
Bob Bernstein, CEO of eSeats.com, which is one of the companies that lost money in the scandal, told TicketNews that “Gene was truly a victim,” and he is aware that he is back in the industry.
“I’m not opposed to Gene earning a living the best way he knows how,” Bernstein said. “He doesn’t have a pattern of cheating people.”
The same could not be said of Bunevacz, according to Texas attorney Jim Moriarty, who represents Hammett in the case.
Moriarty told TicketNews that there are court hearings and a deposition by Bunevacz scheduled for next month. Bunevacz and his wife recently renewed their wedding vows for the fourth time in a lavish ceremony in California, glowingly reported by media outlets in Bunevacz’ native Philippines, but Moriarty said Bunevacz has yet to account for the whereabouts of the $3 million. “He has not produced a single piece of evidence that he ever had a single ticket in his possession,” Moriarty said.
“Bunevacz continues his unfettered, self-aggrandizement, and the 17,000 innocent victims who he screwed out of Olympic tickets paid for that wedding ceremony,” Moriarty said, adding that Bunevacz has a trail of legal entanglements in his wake, including a warrant in the Philippines. “But, his day of reckoning is coming.”