Feds Charge Philly Man in Fake Bruce Springsteen Tickets Scheme
Usually, when we hear about the federal government prosecuting an American citizen, it’s a drug or sex trafficking case, white-collar crime, or political corruption. Fake concert tickets aren’t normally enough to get the Department of Justice out of bed in the morning. But one Philadelphia resident now finds himself the exception to that rule.
The feds say that 35-year-old Eugene Fladger of East Mount Airy masterminded a scheme to sell fake tickets to the February 12, 2016, Bruce Springsteen concert at Wells Fargo Center in South Philadelphia. Has selling fake concert tickets suddenly become a federal crime? Nope. But wire fraud is, and that’s what Fladger has been charged with.
Investigators say that Fladger was behind a Craigslist ad, posted on February 4th, that read: “I have 3 tickets for Bruce Springsteen for sale at the Wells Fargo Center February 12th at 7:30 p.m. The river tour.”
According to prosecutors, Fladger allegedly provided at least 24 fake but very realistic-looking Bruce Springsteen tickets to an associate, who handled the actual transaction. For his part, Fladger was to get 50 percent of any sales. Between February 10th and 24th, say the feds, Fladger received $2,800. There were also some fake tickets to Future at the Fillmore involved, according to court paperwork.
The tickets made their way to the FBI, which determined that they were all fake. And when you take fake merchandise and sell it using internet ads — known in 19th-century legal parlance as “interstate wire communication” — bingo: Tat’s wire fraud.
Fladger has been charged with two counts of wire fraud, each of which carries a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison. He’s currently out on $50,000 bail and is prohibited from being involved in any type of ticket sales. Smart.
It’s not Fladger’s first run-in with the law over allegedly fake tickets. In February 2014, the District Attorney of Queens announced that Fladger had been arrested for selling fake Super Bowl tickets. According to the Queens D.A.’s office, Fladger later pleaded guilty and received five years of probation.
Fladger’s lawyer was not immediately available for comment.
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