Former White Sox Employees Charged In Alleged Ticket Fraud Scheme Former White Sox Employees Charged In Alleged Ticket Fraud Scheme
Two former employees of the Chicago White Sox allegedly schemed with a ticket broker to fraudulently sell thousands of tickets to White Sox baseball... Former White Sox Employees Charged In Alleged Ticket Fraud Scheme

Two former employees of the Chicago White Sox allegedly schemed with a ticket broker to fraudulently sell thousands of tickets to White Sox baseball games, according to an indictment released by the Department of Justice.

Former ticket sellers for the team, James Costello and William O’Neil, reportedly generated complimentary and discount game tickets without the team’s authorization and passed them on to a ticket broker, Bruce Lee, of the Chicago-based brokerage Great Tickets. The 14-count indictment states that Lee paid the employees an unspecified amount of cash in exchange for the tickets and then sold them on the secondary ticketing site StubHub below face value.

Between the 2016 and 2019 baseball seasons, Lee earned approximately $868,369 by selling 34,876 fraudulent tickets from Costello and O’Neil, the charges note. More than 95 percent of the tickets sold were vouchers for youth groups, corporate sponsors, and family and friends of the players. The Chicago White Sox suffered a loss of approximately $1 million as a result of the fraudulent ticket scheme.

The team reportedly contacted the FBI in October 2018 after their data analytics team flagged Lee as having sold a significantly larger amount of Sox tickets than anyone else on StubHub, Jon Seidel of the Chicago Sun-Times reports. In just 2018, Lee reportedly sold over 10,000 more tickets than the next three highest sellers combined.

Lee, 34, has been charged with eleven counts of wire fraud and two counts of money laundering, while Costello, 66, has been charged with one count of money fraud. O’Neil, 55, is charged with one count of making a false statement to the FBI, the DOJ said. Each count of wire fraud is punishable by up to 20 years in federal prison, while money laundering carries a maximum sentence of ten years. The false statement charge is punishable by up to five years behind bars.

Arraignments for Costello, O’Neil, and Lee have not been scheduled at this time.

  • Ryan W

    February 4, 2020 #1 Author

    Must suck to be the one team guy that gets caught selling tickets to brokers for cash.

    Reply

  • Fnur

    February 4, 2020 #2 Author

    The WHITE SOX..????
    35,000 tickets?

    No wonder they got caught. That’s like 20% of the seasons attendance there.!

    Reply

  • Bill

    February 5, 2020 #3 Author

    This practice is nothing new… a lot of venues have employees giving out comp tickets to their friends who in turn sell them on StubHub or CraigsList. The friend gives them a cash tip for the favor. Just look on CraigsList and you will see pictures of tickets that say COMP on them.
    Other than that, the Atlanta Braves constantly had some guy posting his free tickets on StubHub less than cost, competing with people who had paid cost and were trying to at least recoupe what they had paid. Found out the reason this broker could do that was because he got the whole row for free for doing some kind of favor for the Braves, like trading for free advertising or something. Still, it certainly was not fair to the honest people and the season ticket holders who had paid full price for their tickets, and were trying to use StubHub to sell them.
    Basically, you often lose when you sell on StubHub, only StubHub is making money.

    Reply

  • jay

    February 5, 2020 #4 Author

    Accept these teams now have the audacity to drop you for selling your seasons that you paid for if you sell them…..While funneling freebies to others and allowing them to sell them….LOL…talk about hypocrisies.

    Reply

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