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Press Release

New York City Resident Sentenced to Prison for Defrauding Wisconsin Residents in Professional Sports Ticket Scam

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Eastern District of Wisconsin

Gregory J. Haanstad, United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Wisconsin, announced that on June 12, 2024, Nikhil S. Mahtani (age: 28) of New York, New York, was sentenced to 15 months in federal prison for wire fraud.

According to court documents, between approximately January 4, 2019, and December 11, 2022, Mahtani placed over one thousand ads on Craigslist offering high end tickets and luxury box suites to National Football League (NFL), National Basketball Association (NBA), and other professional sporting events around the country. Numerous individuals throughout the Eastern District of Wisconsin were victimized by Mahtani, who accepted thousands of dollars in payments for tickets and suites he knew were not legitimate. In one instance, a large group of friends and family members showed up at Fiserv Forum the night the Milwaukee Bucks won the NBA Championship in 2021, only to be turned away and told they had been scammed. Mahtani is estimated to have received approximately $120,000 from over 100 victims in Wisconsin and across the United States.

At the sentencing hearing, Senior United States District Judge William C. Griesbach noted the serious nature of the crime and the need to deter the defendant and others from engaging in this type of fraud. He rejected Mahtani’s request for probation noting that this was not a “crime of impulse,” but rather a “systematic victimization” of sports fans who had their hearts set on attending a variety of professional sporting events including Green Bay Packers and Milwaukee Bucks games.

Mahtani will spend 15 months in prison and was ordered to pay $88,000 in restitution to his victims. He will also spend three years on supervised release.

This case was investigated by the New York Police Department  Financial Crimes Task Force, Homeland Security Investigations, and the Winnebago County Sheriff’s Office.  It was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Daniel R. Humble.

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For further information contact:

Public Information Officer

(414) 297-1700

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Updated June 12, 2024