Two ticket touts who were re-selling tickets online worth millions of pounds for events have been jailed.
These included tickets to see Ed Sheeran and Adele live.
Peter Hunter and David Smith were trading as Ticket Wiz and BZZ, with BZZ selling tickets for £9.3 million more than it paid for them, Leeds Crown Court heard.
Hunter has been jailed for four years, and Smith for two and a half years.
It was Stuart Camp, Ed Sheeran’s manager who gave evidence after he noticed that £75 seats for a charity gig were on sale for £7,000.
National Trading Standards have called this a ‘landmark case’ as it is ‘the first successful prosecution against a company fraudulently reselling tickets on a large scale.’
In just one year, married couple Hunter and Smith bought more than 750 tickets for Ed Sheeran events alone. They used different identities and computer robots to buy tickets before selling them for inflated prices on secondary ticketing websites.
They used at least 97 different names, 88 postal addresses and more than 290 email addresses to bypass platform restrictions.
When their home was raided, investigators found 112 different payment cards in 37 names.
The jury found them guilty of three counts of fraudulent trading and one of possessing fraudulent articles. Sentencing the pair, Judge Mushtaw Khokhar said: ‘this was a case of sustained dishonesty for a number of years.’
Image source: Clemens Bilan/EPA