Jason Nissen has entered a not guilty plea to federal wire fraud charges in New York. Nissen stands accused of running a $70 million Ponzi scheme with premium event tickets at its core while the CEO of the National Event Ticket Company (NECO), which has since entered bankruptcy proceedings.
The case, U.S. v. Nissen, is being held in the Southern District of New York, No. 17-cr-00477. Nissen, who was arrested in May, waived a former indictment, according to a Reuters report. Prosecutors say their evidence includes a videotape in which the accused told executives at one of his victims, a Manhattan diamond wholesaler, that he was “borrowing from Peter to pay Paul” to keep his scheme afloat. They allege the scam ran as far back as 2015.
Michael Bachner, a lawyer for Nissen according to Reuters, declined to comment on the plea.
In a May 31 release, acting U.S. Attorney for the Southern District Joon H. Kim described the alleged scheme:
“Jason Nissen claimed he was investing in premium tickets for events like the Super Bowl, the World Cup and the Broadway hit ‘Hamilton,’ but as alleged, Nissen was actually cheating his investors out of over $70 million and spending it on himself. The veneer of a successful and interesting business was allegedly just that, an alleged cover for a massive Ponzi scheme.”
Days after that release, NECO filed for bankruptcy protection. More recently, NECO was granted the right to sell ticket inventory the company had on hand to satisfy some of its creditors.
U.S. Magistrate Judge Gabriel Gorenstein is presiding over the case. A trial date has not been reported at this time.