A bogus ticket broker who sold but did not deliver New York Yankees season tickets to a Rockland County man has pleaded guilty to defrauding ticket buyers of more than $60 million.Jason Nissen, 45, of Roslyn, Long Island, admitted in Manhattan federal court on March 28 that his wholesale ticket business was a sham.
He was running a Ponzi scheme, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office. Nissen told investors that he would use their money to buy bulk quantities of premium tickets to events, such as the Super Bowl, World Cup soccer, the Broadway musical “Hamilton” and Yankees games, then resell them for a profit.
Instead, prosecutors say, Nissen used new investments to repay previous investors and enrich himself.
Nissen’s plea agreement identifies five businesses that made bulk purchases of tickets ranging from $250,000 to $44.1 million.
Nissen is scheduled to be sentenced on Aug. 21 in federal court in Manhattan.
But Nissen’s guilty plea may be of no help to Jerry Zandman of Thiells, who’s Citibank credit card was charged $26,000 last year for Yankees season tickets bought through Nissen’s National Events Co.
Zandman claims that he neither ordered nor received the tickets, according to a federal lawsuit he filed in January against Citibank and the Yankees, but not against Nissen or National Events.
Citibank responded that Zandman’s credit card was in fact used to order tickets, either by Zandman or his son Michael. The bank countersued for breach of contract for failure to make payments on the account.
The Yankees also countersued.
The actual cost of the season tickets was $66,000, the club said, and Zandman used a Barclay’s credit card to cover $40,000.
The Yankees say the tickets were delivered to Nissen’s company.
The club also claims that Zandman’s son was a ticket broker and a business partner of Nissen’s. The Yankees are accusing Zandman of loaning money to Nissen in the hope of sharing profits from the resale of the tickets on the secondary market.
Around the time that Nissen was indicted, the club’s counter complaint states, Zandman sought to avoid his credit card losses by asking the banks for refunds.
Citibank refused, but Barclays refunded $40,000 to Zandman’s account and charged the same amount to the Yankees.
The Yankees want the $40,000 back and they are accusing Zandman of aiding and abetting fraud.