New York State Attorney General Barbara D Underwood has filed a lawsuit against TicketNetwork Inc, Eventvest Inc (trading as Ticket Galaxy and the companies’ owner Donald Vaccaro, for allegedly conducting a massive secondary ticketing scheme to trick thousands of New York event-goers.
Tickets that the sellers did not actually possess were offered for concerts, shows,and other live entertainment. More than 30,000 orders were placed.
“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 are buying a real ticket,” says Underwood.
“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.”
The suit alleges that TicketNetwork orchestrated a deceptive scheme by operating several “speculative ticket” programmes specifically designed to enable select ticket brokers, like Ticket Galaxy, to offer these tickets for sale through the TicketNetwork resale platform, disguised to look like real tickets.
Speculative ticket listings on the TicketNetwork platform are, in all relevant ways, indistinguishable from listings for real tickets, and appear to consumers to be offers for tickets that the sellers have already secured and can provide.
The complaint alleges that Ticket Galaxy and dozens of other brokers have offered deceptive speculative ticket listings through TicketNetwork between January 2012 and 1 April 2018, including several for Bruce Springsteen & the E Street Band concerts around New York State, with ticket prices ranging from $2,100 to $3,600, all of which had been posted before tickets were released for sale to the general public.
Internal TicketNetwork documents obtained during the Attorney General’s investigation show that the company has also allegedly reaped other benefits from the programmes.
The complaint further alleges that the defendants have made other false and misleading statements to conceal their scheme. For example, Ticket Galaxy employees routinely lied to customers about why the company would not be providing the tickets the customers had purchased, to avoid revealing that it did not have the tickets in the first place.