Former Oregon Resident Charged with Committing Stubhub Ticket Fraud
SAN JOSE, Calif. – A criminal information was filed Wednesday, charging Brandon Ruddick with one count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud, eight counts of wire fraud and one count of possession of 15 or more unauthorized access devices, United States Attorney Melinda Haag announced.
According to the information, Ruddick, 28, formerly of Portland, Ore., used stolen credit card account information to purchase tickets to sporting events, concerts and live performances on the StubHub website. Ruddick purchased tickets himself and directed his co-conspirators to use the stolen credit card information to purchase tickets on his behalf. The StubHub tickets were purchased without the knowledge and authorization of the credit card account holders. In return for making purchases on his behalf, Ruddick deposited money directly into the bank accounts of his co-conspirators and sent them money through the Western Union wire service.
The information also alleges that, once the tickets were purchased from the StubHub website, Ruddick or his co-conspirators sent them to brokers across the United States who re-sold the tickets on Ruddick’s behalf. Ruddick allowed his brokers to keep a portion of the sale price from each ticket and directed them to deposit the remainder of the sale price into his bank accounts. After receiving payment, the brokers sent the StubHub tickets to the purchasers by either e-mail or mail.
StubHub, Inc. is a company based in San Francisco that hosts a website that allows parties to sell and purchase tickets to sporting events, concerts and live performances from around the United States. StubHub users register on the website by creating a user id and entering an e-mail address, physical address, bank account or credit card account number. Once a user establishes an account, the user is able to search for available tickets for sporting events, concerts and live performances and make purchases. After a user purchases tickets, StubHub either mails the purchased tickets to the physical address listed for the user’s account, or emails the tickets to the user at the email address listed for the account.
Ruddick, who currently lives in Washington state, is scheduled to make his initial appearance in federal court in San Jose at 9:30 a.m. on April 12, 2012, before Magistrate Judge Howard R. Lloyd.
The maximum statutory penalty for each count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 1349 is 20 years and a fine of $250,000, plus restitution if appropriate. The maximum statutory penalty for each count of wire fraud in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 1343 is 20 years and a fine of $250,000, plus restitution if appropriate. The maximum statutory penalty for each count of possession of 15 or more unauthorized access devices in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 1029(a)(3) is 10 years and a fine of $500,000, plus restitution if appropriate. However, any sentence following conviction would be imposed by the court after consideration of the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and the federal statute governing the imposition of a sentence, 18 U.S.C. § 3553.
Hanley Chew is the Assistant U.S. Attorney who is prosecuting the case with the assistance of Elise Etter. The prosecution is the result of an investigation by the United States Secret Service.
Please note, an information contains only allegations against an individual and, as with all defendants, Mr. Ruddick must be presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.