Counterfeit NCAA, NFL Ticket-Seller Sentenced to Prison
PHILADELPHIA – First Assistant United States Attorney Jennifer Arbittier Williams announced that Rakee Russ, 41, of Philadelphia, PA was sentenced to 12 months and one day of incarceration, three years’ supervised release and $420 restitution by United States District Judge R. Barclay Surrick for his participation in a scheme to sell counterfeit tickets.
Russ pleaded guilty in July 2019 to conspiracy to commit wire fraud, wire fraud, conspiracy to traffic in counterfeit goods, and trafficking in counterfeit goods, arising from his role in the sale of counterfeit tickets to sporting events, including the January 2017 Villanova-Virginia NCAA Men’s College Basketball game and the September 2017 Eagles v. Giants NFL game, both in Philadelphia, PA. The counterfeit tickets bore the authentic trademarks that were registered with the United States Patent and Trademark Office. Russ sold the counterfeit tickets at the Wells Fargo Center and Lincoln Financial Field.
“Criminal counterfeiting and piracy are serious, federal crimes,” said First Assistant U. S. Attorney Williams. “When fans spend their hard-earned money on event tickets, they deserve the real deal. This defendant took advantage of unsuspecting fans, and now he will be doing more than a year in federal prison. To anyone else out there who thinks selling counterfeit tickets are not going to be prosecuted federally, take notice. Justice has been served.”
The case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorneys Joan E. Burnes and Anita Eve.