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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Eastern District of Missouri

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thursday, September 22, 2016

Ballwin Area Man Pleads Guilty to Fraud Charges

St. Louis, MO – Darrin Landes pled guilty to wire fraud charges involving his scheme to sell sporting event tickets, but not delivering them to the purchasers after they sent payment to him.

According to court documents, from September 2015 to July 2016, Landes offered to sell tickets to sporting and entertainment events including the 2016 Kentucky Derby, the 2016 Masters golf tournament in Augusta, Georgia, and St. Louis Cardinals games. On some occasions, he offered to sell accommodations at hotels, resorts and/or homes. He frequently did not have tickets to sell to these prospective purchasers, and when he did have one ticket to an event, he attempted to sell the same ticket to someone else.

Landes and the prospective purchasers discussed the price for these tickets through face-to-face conversations, emails, texts and/or telephone conversations. The purchasers agreed to pay Landes and upon receipt of payment would send them the purchased items.  Landes instructed the purchasers to send payment to him by wire transaction to either his PayPal account, one of his alleged business acquaintance’s PayPal accounts or, on some occasions, he met with the purchaser and obtained the money for the items he was selling. After the purchasers sent money to Landes and they did not receive the items that they paid for, and they attempted to contact Landes, he offered some excuse for the delay in sending the purchased item.

Landes , Ballwin, MO, pled guilty to one felony count of wire fraud before United States District Judge Rodney Sippel. Sentencing has been set for December 16, 2016.

Wire fraud carries a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison and or fines up to $250,000.  In determining the actual sentences, a Judge is required to consider the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines, which provide recommended sentencing ranges.

This case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Kirkwood Police Department. Assistant United States Attorney Anthony Franks is handling the case for the U.S. Attorney's Office.

Updated October 27, 2016