Ticket scammer jailed - Bedfordshire

10/04/2015

A fraudster, who 'sold' nonexistent tickets for high profile events over the internet, has today, Friday, 10 April 2015, been jailed for a further 12 months.

James Keane set up the scam using sites like Gumtree when he was heavily in debt. He advertised hard to get tickets for music festivals and rugby and football matches, Luton Crown Court was told on Friday. He took about £15,000 from more than 50 victims between July 2013 and August 2014, said prosecutor, Michael Edmunds. Towards the end of the scam he used a different method advertising property to rent and taking deposits to secure the bogus deals.

Keane, aged 38, of Cause End Road, Wootton, Beds pleaded guilty to ten charges of dishonestly making false representations to make a gain, and asked for 43 offences to be taken into consideration.

The court heard that he is currently serving a 27 month prison sentence for an earlier fraud which involved taking money from small shopkeepers in London by pretending to be from Transport for London or Camelot. On Friday he was given a further 12 months custody for the new offences.

Mr Edmunds told the court: "This prolonged course of frauds involved an element of sophistication. He set up email accounts with fake IDs and used unregistered pay-as-you-go phones. Money was paid into a variety of bank accounts, but the losers never received their tickets." The barrister said that the offences continued while he was on bail for the London matters for which he was jailed in August last year.

Derek Johashen, defending said: "This is a man who found it very very difficult to deal with a debt problem he had. People were knocking at his door every day, and one became very threatening and difficult. But he understands that the steps he took to deal with that were completely wrong. He has found custody very difficult but has been using his time to take courses in money management and budgeting and sought assiatnce from the Citizens Advice Bureau."

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