Gig ticket touts made £6.5m from music fans, court heard

  • By Maryam Isimdar & PA Media
  • BBC News, Norfolk

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Both defendants deny fraudulently buying and reselling tickets to concerts, including Ed Sheeran concerts.

„Greed and dishonesty” fueled a ticketing firm which „exploited” music fans out of more than £6.5m, a court has been told.

Mark Woods, 59, and Linda Chenery, 51, of Tickleburgh, Norfolk, have been charged with three counts of fraudulent trading.

Prosecutors said TQ Tickets Ltd used multiple identities before selling tickets for artists such as Ed Sheeran and Little Mix on secondary ticketing sites.

Jodi's wives plead guilty.

Jonathan Sandiford Casey, prosecuting, said the company sold around £6.5m of tickets on sites such as Viagogo between June 2015 and December 2017.

The company purchased 47,000 tickets during that period using 127 names and 187 different email addresses.

„This case is about greed and dishonesty. Both defendants were the tickets,” he told the hearing at Leeds Crown Court.

„For years, they were part of a dishonest scheme that took advantage of the love and passion many of us have for our favorite pop bands, our favorite artists – people like Ed Sheeran and others.”

image source, Sarah Jaynes/BBC

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Leeds Crown Court was told a company exploited the interests of music fans such as fans of girl group Little Mix.

Jury said the company would list tickets for speculative sale before they could be purchased, which sometimes led to fans being denied entry to arenas.

The lawyer explained how the company made multiple applications for tickets, sometimes using fictitious identities and using a variety of bank and debit cards, using various employees, including „corrupt” students.

Mr Sandiford referred to practices including „spoofing”, which involves sending customers torn envelopes to make them believe tickets have been lost in transit, or „using fraud juice”, which involves liquid fixing or sophisticated digital methods. , to amend the ticket.

Jurors were told that the defendants' partners, Maria Chenery-Woods and Paul Douglas, had already pleaded guilty to fraudulent trading.

Mr Sandiford said Chenery-Woods was „the driving force behind this dishonest scheme” but the two accused were part of a „dishonest enterprise”.

In one message, Douglas Chenery-Woods was told in court that the purpose of the business was to „wash for profit as much as the consumer is willing to pay”.

„There is no dispute that there is a fraudulent scheme”, Mr Sandiford added.

Mrs. Chenery is also the sister of Chenery-Woods.

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