Brothers-in-Law, Who Used Craigslist To Sell Tickets To Sporting Events, Receive Lengthy Federal Prison Sentences On Wire Fraud Convictions
FORT WORTH, Texas — Two men, who pleaded guilty earlier this year to wire fraud charges stemming from their use of Craigslist to obtain victims’ credit card information, have been sentenced by U.S. District Judge John McBryde. James Lee Williams, II, 40, of Dallas, was sentenced on April 26, 2013, to 120 months in federal prison and ordered to pay more than $77,000 in restitution. His brother-in law and co-defendant Anthony Troy Johnson, 44, of Karnack, Texas, was sentenced on July 5, 2013, to 48 months in federal prison and ordered to pay more than $66,000 in restitution. Williams has been in custody since his arrest; Johnson was ordered to surrender to the Bureau of Prisons by July 26, 2013. Today’s announcement was made by U.S. Attorney Sarah R. Saldaña of the Northern District of Texas.
Williams and Johnson admitted running a scheme in which they advertised on Craigslist tickets for sale to events such as football games or Texas Rangers baseball games. When a customer called to buy tickets, they obtained the credit card information and informed the customer that their tickets would be mailed or could be picked up at the event. Instead of purchasing tickets to the designated event, however, Williams and Johnson used the victims’ credit card information to purchase airline tickets, tickets to other sporting events, concerts and attractions such as Six Flags Over Texas amusement park, and then they sold the fraudulently obtained tickets to other consumers.
Williams was arrested by officers with the Arlington Police Department in August 2012 after a state search warrant was executed in his motel room in Arlington. Among some of the items seized were documents containing names and numbers consistent with personal identifying information and credit card numbers, written ledgers for various sporting/entertainment events, cell phones and tickets. Some of the paperwork had been stuffed into the toilet, clogging it and causing it to overflow, and a laptop computer had been thrown out of the window.
The investigation was conducted by the Arlington Police Department and the U.S. Postal Inspection Service. Assistant U.S. Attorney Chris Wolfe prosecuted.