The principals of a UK-based secondary ticketing company were found guilty today, July 5, of fraud and money laundering charges for their part in a massive ticket scam case involving Beijing Olympic tickets.
Alan Scott and Terence Shepherd, operators of Xclusive Leisure & Hospitality, were found guilty of fraudulent trading and money laundering, respectively. The pair and others face additional fraud charges, but a jury in a British court had not yet delivered a verdict on those.
The defendants were accused of selling millions of dollars’ worth of Beijing Olympic tickets through dozens of fraudulent Web sites created through Xclusive, but the company never delivered the tickets and also did not issue refunds.
“It’s a good day,” Texas attorney Jim Moriarty, whose diligence helped lead to the defendants arrest, told TicketNews.
Moriarty was among the victims of the scam and made it a crusade to bring Xclusive to justice. Subsequently, his law firm, Moriarty Leyendecker, launched a Web site devoted exclusively to scams and problems involving Olympics ticketing.
Following the problems with Beijing Olympic tickets, similar but separate cases of non-delivery of tickets also plagued the Vancouver Winter Olympics in 2010.
Xclusive is believed to have committed similar cases of ticketing fraud dating back several years and involving concerts and music festivals, too.
“This wasn’t a ticket broker scam, this was a fraud, plain and simple,” Graham Burns, chairman of the Association of Secondary Ticket Agents (ASTA), told TicketNews. “The government’s anti-fraud laws were used here, as they should have been, which to me demonstrates that the use of further legislation in ticket resale is unnecessary.”
In recent months, the issue of regulating ticket resale in the UK has been discussed, due to publicity surrounding various high profile cases where fraud has been alleged, such as a similar instance of tickets not being delivered for Take That shows.