NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – Two men face a series of charges in connection with the sale of bogus Super Bowl and NFL-related tickets.
Damon Daniels, 43, of the Bronx and Eugene Fladger, 32, of Philadelphia were allegedly selling the fake tickets online, the NYPD said.
The NFL got wind of their alleged operation in November and referred the case to the NYPD for investigation.
Daniels and Fladger were arrested Monday after allegedly making a sale in Queens, 1010 WINS’ Juliet Papa reported.
“These two criminals conspired to produce and distribute high quality counterfeit tickets for various events including the Super Bowl and peddled them not only on the streets of New York City but also on the internet and across the country,” said Police Commissioner Bill Bratton.
“The defendants are charged with not only running a lucrative illegal operation that allegedly ripped off the National Football League and sports fans alike by manufacturing well-crafted counterfeit tickets using state-of-the-art equipment but creating a security nightmare for the NFL and the vast army of local, state and federal enforcement law agencies handling security operations at this Sunday’s Super Bowl by allegedly selling fraudulent parking passes to the MetLife parking facilities,” Queens District Attorney Richard Brown said. “Beyond that, individuals who bought tickets or passes through the Internet may be in for a rude awakening on game day.”
Investigators found the pair’s apparent “base of operation” at the home of Daniels’ girlfriend in Jamaica, Queens, police said. They recovered a computer, printer and photo paper in addition to dozens of bogus tickets.
The duo allegedly whipped up bogus Super Bowl tickets, parking passes for MetLife stadium, tickets to the NFL Commissioner’s party at the Waldorf-Astoria hotel and another party at Radio City Music Hall, Papa reported. They also allegedly sold bogus NHL Stadium Series tickets and NFL playoff tickets to games in Boston and Philadelphia.
The fake tickets included the official NFL logo and a bar code effective enough to get past scanners, Papa reported.
As CBS 2’s Alice Gainer reported, the ticket scam was so high-tech it could’ve created a security nightmare on Super Bowl Sunday.
“I’ve never seen a quality ticket that would actually get admission into an event so that’s of particular concern,” James Hayes with the Department of Homeland Security said. “That’s a piece we still have to investigate. We’ve got to take a look at whether or not there was hacking of a system or some other technological glitch that we have to work with the industry to fix.”
Some of the tickets were being sold for $300 each. The duo allegedly offered a deal if customers bought packages with the fake parking passes and party tickets.
Both men were charged with trademark counterfeiting and possession of a forged instrument.
They were both known to NFL security and has prior arrests for trademark counterfeit, possession forged instruments and ticket scalping, police said.
Bail for Fladger was set at $20,000 or $10,000 cash and bail for Daniels was set at $10,000 or $5,000 cash.
Authorities also busted up a shipment of counterfeit goods at John F. Kennedy International Airport Tuesday.
The phony items include jerseys and hats, Gainer reported.
Security experts have urged fans to buy their tickets from reputable ticket brokers who inspect tickets and guarantee authenticity, CBS 2’s Hazel Sanchez reported.
“Holograms, sometimes you can see through, you can see lighting. So, we have all our sellers, everybody is pre-screened through us. They have to send all the tickets to us first. We go through a verification process before those tickets even touch a buyer’s hands,” Jason from StubHub explained.
Last year, federal officials busted $14 million in counterfeit goods in the lead-up to last year’s Super Bowl. That number could be surpassed this year, Gainer reported.
Super Bowl XLVIII between the Denver Broncos and Seattle Seahawks is scheduled for Feb. 2 in East Rutherford, N.J.
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