September 14, 2018

NY sues CT broker, alleging faulty tickets

PHOTO | Contributed
PHOTO | Contributed
Donald Vaccaro, owner of Ticket Galaxy.

New York's attorney general is suing South Windsor sports-entertainment ticket broker TicketNetwork and its owner, alleging they siphoned millions from Empire State buyers with faulty or non-existent tickets to games, concerts and other live events.

Attorney General Barbara D. Underwood's civil lawsuit announced late Friday against TicketNetwork Inc., an affiliate, Eventvest Inc. d/b/a Ticket Galaxy, and their owner, Donald Vaccaro, comes just days after Vaccaro sued Underwood, to block her from suing him and his companies.

In her suit, Underwood alleges in a statement about the suit that the co-defendants conducted a massive scheme to trick tens of thousands of unsuspecting fans into buying tickets to concerts, shows, and other live events that the sellers did not actually have.

The illegal conduct allegedly at issue, she said, centers on undisclosed "speculative tickets" – offers to sell tickets that the ticket seller does not have, has not yet purchased, and does not have a contractual right to obtain.

Only after a consumer places an order for speculative tickets does the listing broker attempt to purchase the real tickets, at a lower price and from a different source, to provide to the buyer. The broker keeps the difference between the price that he paid and the price at which he sold the speculative ticket.

For example, in early Dec. 2015, the suit alleges, TicketNetwork's website carried speculative ticket listings to several Bruce Springsteen concerts at venues around New York State that ranged in price from $2,100 to $3,600 per ticket, all of which had been posted before tickets were released for sale to the general public.

"Speculative tickets like these are nothing more than a scam that hurts New Yorkers and undermines the entire ticket industry – driving up prices while defrauding consumers into believing that they're buying a real ticket," Underwood said. "New Yorkers should not have to – unknowingly – bet on whether a seller can actually deliver the tickets for which they paid. This office will continue to do what's necessary to protect New York fans."

In a statement, TicketNetwork and Ticket Galaxy each insisted they did nothing wrong and noted that they have cooperated with the New York's AG office the past two years toward a resolution. They also said Underwood failed to take into account that a New Jersey court has already "affirmed that TicketNetwork's business model is protected by federal law, and that recently passed legislation in New York reaffirms the legality of our business practices."

Read more

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