BOTHELL MAN SENTENCED TO 51 MONTHS IN PRISON FOR PONZI SCHEME INVOLVING HIGH DEMAND EVENT TICKETS
Duped Investors out of $10 Million Claiming He Could Resell Tickets for Huge Profit
KEVIN HALVERSON, 52, of Bothell, Washington, was sentenced Monday, August 2, 2010, in U.S. District Court in Seattle to 51 months in prison, three years of supervised release and $7,654,639 in restitution for wire fraud. HALVORSON ran a Ponzi scheme involving alleged investments in high profile event tickets. Between 2003, and 2006, HALVERSON took in about $7 million from unsuspecting investors. At sentencing U.S. District Judge James L. Robart noted the significant damage HALVERSON had done to those who invested, saying it was clear he had caused them real pain.
According to documents filed in the case, HALVERSON operated a business, “Total Ticket Service” (TTS). The business claimed to purchase high demand tickets for events such as the Super Bowl, Indy 500 and Las Vegas shows. HALVERSON told investors he could sell the tickets at a high profit. HALVERSON promised investors a high rate of return on their investments – as much as 50 percent in six months. HALVERSON used a small amount of investor money to purchase tickets, to make it appear the business was legitimate. Most of the investor money was used to pay off earlier investors, or for HALVERSON’s personal use. HALVERSON gambled away some of the money and investigators were unable to trace all of the investor funds.
In asking for the 51 month sentence, Assistant United States Attorney Robert Westinghouse wrote to the court that HALVERSON betrayed more than 50 investors. “Although the offense itself was deceptively simple, at its heart it involves repeated breaches of trust on the part of defendant. Those who were duped by him, and by those who seemingly acted unwittingly on his behalf because of their own experiences, relied upon his assurances that his ticket business was highly successful and was generating huge returns on the ticket sales. These investors were undoubtedly lulled into
a sense of complacency by the promises of large – perhaps unreasonably large – returns, coupled with the occasional gift of hard-to-come-by tickets for upcoming events,” Mr. Westinghouse wrote in his sentencing memo.
HALVERSON was indicted in February 2010, and pleaded guilty May 7, 2010.
The case was investigated by Internal Revenue Service Criminal Investigation (IRS-CI). The case was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Robert Westinghouse.
For additional information please contact Emily Langlie, Public Affairs Officer for the United States Attorney’s Office, at (206) 553-4110 or Emily.Langlie@USDOJ.Gov.