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Brokers Who Scalped Beyonce, One Direction Concerts Busted in NY Probe

Beyonce 2013 concert at the Barclay's Center in New York was targeted by illegal ticket brokers busted by the NY AG's office. (Photo: Getty)

Beyonce 2013 concert at the Barclay’s Center in New York was targeted by illegal ticket brokers busted by the NY AG’s office. (Photo: Getty)

Ticket brokers who snagged hundreds of concert tickets using bots and jacked up prices have been busted in a sweep by the New York Attorney General’s Office. Six companies have been fined $2.76 million and ordered to stop using bots to raid online ticket sites.

The companies were identified as TicketToad.com, Inc. of New Jersey, Charm City Entertainment LLC of Florida, Just In Time Tickets, Inc. of New York, A2Z Tix LLC of New York, Flying Falco Entertainment, Inc. of California, and All Events Utah, LLC.

The brokers illegally resold hundreds of thousand of tickets over the past several years to such events as Beyonce, One Direction concerts, NY Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman announced today (Apr. 27)

“Our office has zero tolerance for ticket resellers that use illegal bots to scoop up large numbers of tickets for popular events before consumers can obtain them, and then resell those tickets to those very same consumers at a large markup,” he said.

These cases were handled by Bureau of Internet and Technology (BIT) and Assistant Attorneys General Aaron Chase, Jordan Adler and Noah Stein.

BIT Bureau Chief Kathleen McGee and former Executive Deputy Attorney General for Economic Justice Karla G. Sanchez also were in on the case.

In one instance involving automated bots, they discovered Ticket Toad illegally bought 520 tickets to an Aug. 5, 2013 Beyonce concert at Barclay’s Center. T

Ticket Tooad made the score within three minutes after the tics went on sale through legitimate online vendors like StubHub and TicketMaster.

In another instance, Avery Tickets, which also does business as Flying Falco, illegally purchased 522 tickets within five minutes to a June 28, 2013 One Direction concert at Jones Beach.

The brokers turned around and sold them with huge markups.

A number of artists have complained about scalpers pricing tickets beyond the reach of fans, while other artists have allowed their reps to scalp their own fans.

During a 2011 tour, IM reported that Katy Perry asked promoters to hold back tickets so that she and her close staffers could shuffle them to “resellers,” read scalpers, for “distribution to the public” on the “secondary market.”

On his Believe Tour in 2012, IM also reported that Justin Bieber pulled the same scam.

Phil Williams, chief investigative reporter for NewsChannel 5 in Nashville, Tenn, discovered that members of Bieber’s management were withholding tickets from the public and selling them on the secondary market for a huge mark-up.

Top artists like Bono of U-2 have battled scalpers. Other artists, such as Green Day, Tom Waits, The Dixie Chicks, John Mayer, and Maroon 5 have done the same.

“Our office will continue to enforce New York’s ticket laws by investigating ticket brokers who are breaking our laws, and making them pay for their illegal acts,” Schneiderman said.

No word, however, whether he would go after artists who do the same thing.

The settlements requires the brokers to obtain ticket reseller licenses, and stop using Bots to buy tickets. The six companies also must pay a combined total of $2,760,000 in disgorged profits and penalties to the State.

The NY AG’s office previously settled with two other ticket brokers, raising the total in fines to $2.9 million. Schneiderman said the broader investigation into the secondary ticketing industry remains ongoing.

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