Two Brothers Plead Guilty To Defrauding Sports Fans
United States Attorney Laura E. Duffy announced that twin brothers Anthony Donald Casias and Leo Ronald Casias, Jr., pled guilty to a scheme to defraud local sports fans through their company, "L & T Sports Events, Inc."
According to court documents, clients of L&T Sports paid in advance for travel, lodging, transportation, and game tickets to out-of-town sporting events, such as San Diego Chargers "away" games, other NFL games, and collegiate sporting events. The brothers told customers that L&T Sports purchased specific flights, game tickets, and hotel accommodations for them for a set amount of money. The defendants even promised clients that L&T Sports obtained tickets in specific seating areas (for example, "lower level corner end zone" or "club level" seating), accommodations at specified hotels, and seats on specific airline flights, to reassure clients that the services clients paid for would be provided when the clients arrived at the game destinations.
The defendants admitted today that once the clients paid the advance fees in reliance on the brothers' statements, the defendants fraudulently diverted the funds to other uses, thereby leaving clients stranded in other cities without hotel accommodations, transportation, game tickets, and flights back to San Diego.
Court documents indicate that on at least one occasion the defendants used one individual's credit card to pay for another L&T Sports client's trip to Hawaii. Furthermore, according to individuals who addressed the court at today's guilty plea, the defendants borrowed money from victims, claiming that the funds would be used to purchase specific travel-related services to keep the business afloat. Instead, the brothers used the money for personal expenses, such as car payments and cable bills, and failed to repay the victims. One elderly individual informed the court that the brothers had obtained from him the money he had saved for his own cremation.
The court remanded both defendants into custody. The defendants will next appear before Judge John A. Houston on October 4, 2013, at 1:00 p.m. for a further hearing on whether they will remain in custody pending sentencing. They will appear before Judge Houston for sentencing on January 6, 2014, at 8:30 a.m.
If you are a victim of L&T Sports, please contact the FBI at (858)320-1800.
|DEFENDANTS||Criminal Case No. 12CR4966-JAH|
|Anthony "Tony" Donald Casias |
Leo Ronald Casias, Jr.
|SUMMARY OF CHARGE|
Count 1: Title 18, United States Code, Section 1349 - Conspiracy to Commit Wire Fraud. Maximum
Federal Bureau of Investigation