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Wed Apr 4, 2018, 06:18 AM

Manhattan Man Sentenced For Broadway Ticket Investment Scheme

https://www.justice.gov/usao-sdny/pr/manhattan-man-sentenced-broadway-ticket-investment-scheme

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Tuesday, April 3, 2018

Manhattan Man Sentenced For Broadway Ticket Investment Scheme

Geoffrey S. Berman, the United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, announced that JOSEPH MELI was sentenced today in Manhattan federal court to 78 months in prison by the Honorable Kimba M. Wood. Between 2015 and 2017, MELI solicited approximately $100 million in investments from 130 investors through false representations that MELI would use investor funds to purchase tickets to various live events for resale at a profit on the secondary market. MELI pled guilty before U.S. Magistrate Judge Barbara C. Moses on October 31, 2017.
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From 2015 through January 2017, MELI conducted a scheme to defraud more than 130 investors who invested a total of more than approximately $100 million through false representations that MELI would use investor funds to purchase tickets to various live events for resale at a profit on the secondary market. In fact, MELI utilized a substantial portion of the investor funds he obtained for his personal expenses – including payments for a $3 million house in East Hampton, New York, a 2017 Porsche convertible, and expensive watches and jewelry – and to make payments, in a Ponzi-like manner, to previous investors in MELI’s ticket fraud scheme and in an unrelated hedge fund.

In furtherance of the fraudulent scheme, MELI falsely represented to investors that he had entered into written agreements with production companies for popular Broadway shows and with management companies for popular singers and music bands (together, the “Production and Management Companies”) to purchase large blocks of tickets to the shows and performances. As part of this deception, MELI provided investors with falsified documents purporting to reflect agreements between MELI’s company, Advance Entertainment, LLC, and the Production and Management Companies. In truth and in fact, MELI had not entered into such agreements and did not have any contractual rights to purchase such tickets from the Production and Management Companies.
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