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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Southern District of New York

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Wednesday, March 28, 2018

CEO And President Of Premium Ticket Resale Business Pleads Guilty To Running Multimillion-Dollar Ponzi Scheme

Geoffrey S. Berman, the United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, announced that JASON NISSEN pled guilty today to defrauding victims of more than $60 million by falsely representing that he was using the victims’ money to further a profitable, multimillion-dollar wholesale ticket business.  NISSEN pled guilty before U.S. District Judge Paul A. Engelmayer, and is scheduled to be sentenced on August 21, 2018.

Manhattan U.S. Attorney Geoffrey S. Berman said:  “As he admitted in court today, Jason Nissen’s pitch to investors about access to premium sports and entertainment tickets was a sham.  His investment scheme was really a Ponzi scheme.  Now he awaits sentencing for his admitted swindle.”        

According to allegations in a Complaint and other documents filed in federal court, as well as statements made in public court proceedings:

Since at least in or about 2010, JASON NISSEN has operated a ticket resale business (the “Ticket Company”) through which NISSEN purchased large quantities of premium tickets for sporting and entertainment events, and then resold such tickets for a profit.

The Ticket Company is a ticket resale business located in Manhattan, New York, of which NISSEN was the chief executive officer and president.  The Ticket Company’s website stated that “[The Ticket Company] is an industry leader in providing VIP access and premium tickets to all concerts, Broadway theatre, red carpet premieres and sporting events worldwide . . . the Ticket Company stocks one of the largest revolving inventories for sports, concerts, and theatre worldwide.”

From at least in or about 2015 to in or about May 2017, NISSEN defrauded multiple investors in ticket deals arranged by the Ticket Company of tens of millions of dollars.  NISSEN represented to these investor victims that he would use their money to purchase bulk quantities of premium tickets to sporting and entertainment events such as the Super Bowl (football), the World Cup (soccer), the U.S. Open (tennis), and “Hamilton” (Broadway musical), and then resell the tickets at a profit.  However, in truth and in fact, NISSEN used the victims’ money in large part to repay other victims and to enrich himself. 

To further perpetuate his fraudulent scheme and to raise additional sums from victims, NISSEN falsified financial documents and inflated accounts receivable ledgers, which NISSEN presented to certain victims as purported proof that their money was being used to purchase premium tickets for resale. 

In total, JASON NISSEN defrauded victims of more than $60 million.     

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NISSEN, 45, of Roslyn, New York, pled guilty to one count of wire fraud, which carries a maximum term of 20 years in prison.  The maximum potential sentence is prescribed by Congress and is provided here for informational purposes only, as any sentencing of the defendant will be determined by the judge.

Mr. Berman praised the investigative work of the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

This case is being handled by the Office’s Public Corruption Unit.  Assistant United States Attorneys Douglas S. Zolkind and Lara Pomerantz are in charge of the prosecution.

Topic(s): 
Financial Fraud
Press Release Number: 
18-097
Updated March 28, 2018