Julien Lavallee, the central figure in the recent investigation that led to raids on the offices of StubHub and other ticket resale offices in the United Kingdom, is a member of StubHub’s top tier of sellers and the company’s internal “Sellers Council,” according to reporting by Dave Brooks of Amplify.
Lavallee, whose activities were unearthed as part of the sprawling financial investigation known as the “Paradise Papers,” operates out of Quebec, but has his business sheltered in tax haven Isle of Man (UK). He allegedly has become a multi-million dollar broker securing tickets for shows such as Adele, Metallica, and more, out of his company’s Canada headquarters.
Much of the coverage of the case has probed at how the ticket resale business operates on an industrial scale for companies such as StubHub, where top-tier sellers are given increasingly more favorable terms in terms of percentages collected by the eBay-owned company, and access to top-tier executives. Allegations that he was engaged in using “bots” to procure his inventory, which was later sold through StubHub, are causing a number of questions as to how much the marketplace, which sells itself as a place where fans can sell tickets they can’t use to other fans, facilitates such activities, which are now illegal in the United States and UK, and in the process of becoming so in Canada, or at least Ontario.
The broker’s role on the company “council” only further cements his ties to the upper levels of company policymaking. Per Brooks, the group is “comprised of the company’s top brokers and resellers that hold quarterly meetings with senior StubHub executives, including occasional visits by StubHub President Scott Cutler.”
A seat at that particular table involves the sale of at least $50,000 worth of tickets on the site, and involves regular meetings to share feedback and discuss technical integrations and other programs related to sellers.
Lavallee explained in a 2016 article in the Daily Record that most of his UK inventory is sourced through partnerships and producers. Brooks notes that the numbers cited in the reporting of his activities could easily be procured by having a dedicated staff making purchases, rather than illegal technology, though it would still be against most primary ticket sales policies, which forbid the purchase of more than a set amount (often four or eight) by any individual (or company).
We’ll keep on top of this developing story as it continues to unfold.