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Press Release

Bay Village man sentenced to more than six years in prison for $420,000 fraud involving concert tickets

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Northern District of Ohio

A Bay Village man was sentenced to more than six years in prison for fraudulently buying concert and event tickets worth hundreds of thousands of dollars with stolen credit cards and then reselling them, law enforcement officials said.

Daniel Mercede, 29, pleaded guilty last year to charges of bank fraud, access devise fraud and operating an unlicensed money transmitting business. U.S. District Judge Sara Lioi sentenced Mercede to 79 months in prison and ordered him to pay $424,222 in restitution.

Mercede used stolen and fraudulently obtained credit card information from dozens of people to purchase tickets to concerts and events from ScoreBig, a California-based company that sells tickets, according to court documents.

He had the tickets sent to his or his parents’ homes in Chagrin Falls, where Mercede lived when he committed the crimes. He then resold the tickets – for events in Baltimore, Buffalo, Los Angeles, Miami, New York, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, Seattle, St. Louis and Washington D.C. -- on StubHub, receiving the funds by check or through PayPal, according to court documents.

Mercede attempted to obtain more than $3 million in combined fraudulent proceeds between 2014 and last year, and obtained more than $424,222, according to court documents.

He used money for his own personal enrichment, including purchases of luxury cars, expensive jewelry and exotic vacations, according to court documents.

“Mr. Mercede was motivated solely by greed,” Acting U.S. Attorney David A. Sierleja said. “He has shown himself to be a serial scammer and identity thief who is a clear economic danger to the community. Prison is the proper place for him.”

“Mercede left a wake of financial damage with the numerous unlawful schemes he engaged in,” said FBI Special Agent in Charge Stephen D. Anthony. “The FBI will continue to work with our law enforcement partners to ensure fraudsters serve their due time behind bars instead of on lavish vacations at the expense of others.”

"Daniel Mercede perpetrated a complex scheme involving identity theft and the illegal use of an unlicensed bitcoin exchange service that was driven by insatiable greed and a blatant disregard for the tremendous damage inflicted on innocent victims," said Frank S. Turner II, Acting Special Agent in Charge, IRS Criminal Investigation, Cincinnati Field Office. "Be assured that IRS Criminal Investigation, together with our law enforcement partners and the U.S. Attorney's Office, will hold those who engage in similar behavior fully accountable."

“I would like to acknowledge the hard and diligent work of Detective Sergeant Andy Capwill,” said Chagrin Falls Police Chief Amber Dacek. “He really dug in to this case and gathered a good deal of the initial financial information that ultimately led to this prosecution. I am very pleased with the collaborative effort that went in to obtaining this conviction.”

This case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Paul Flannery and Matthew Kall following an investigation by the FBI, IRS, U.S. Postal Inspection Service, Chagrin Falls Police and Westlake Police.

Updated March 21, 2017

Financial Fraud
Identity Theft