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New York City man sent to prison for defrauding Wisconsin residents in Brewers and Bucks ticket scam

By: WISCONSIN LAW JOURNAL STAFF//June 14, 2024//

(Deposit Photos)

New York City man sent to prison for defrauding Wisconsin residents in Brewers and Bucks ticket scam

By: WISCONSIN LAW JOURNAL STAFF//June 14, 2024//

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Gregory J. Haanstad, United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Wisconsin, announced that on June 12, 2024, Nikhil S. Mahtani (28) of New York was sentenced to 15 months in federal prison for wire fraud.

According to court documents, between approximately January 4, 2019, and December 11, 2022, Mahtani placed over one thousand ads on Craigslist offering high end tickets and luxury box suites to National Football League (NFL), National Basketball Association (NBA), and other professional sporting events around the country. Numerous individuals throughout the Eastern District of Wisconsin were victimized by Mahtani, who accepted thousands of dollars in payments for tickets and suites he knew were not legitimate. In one instance, a large group of friends and family members showed up at Fiserv Forum the night the Milwaukee Bucks won the NBA Championship in 2021, only to be turned away and told they had been scammed. Mahtani is estimated to have received approximately $120,000 from over 100 victims in Wisconsin and across the United States.

According to officials, at the sentencing hearing, Senior United States District Judge William C. Griesbach noted the serious nature of the crime and the need to deter the defendant and others from engaging in this type of fraud. He rejected Mahtani’s request for probation noting that this was not a “crime of impulse,” but rather a “systematic victimization” of sports fans who had their hearts set on attending a variety of professional sporting events including Green Bay Packers and Milwaukee Bucks games.

Mahtani will spend 15 months in prison and was ordered to pay $88,000 in restitution to his victims. He will also spend three years on supervised release.
This case was investigated by the New York Police Department Financial Crimes Task Force, Homeland Security Investigations, and the Winnebago County Sheriff’s Office. It was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Daniel R. Humble.

Back on May 23, 2024, FOX6 Milwaukee reported a touring orchestra scheduled to perform in Wisconsin and North Carolina canceled performances unexpectedly leaving ticket holders with worthless tickets and lingering credit card charges.

According to WITI, ‘Contact 6’ reached out to Ticket Tailor for more information, but was told to try the event organizer instead. The consumer segment emailed ARB Marketing & Entertainment twice but heard nothing back. ARB’s websites do not work.

On Thursday, the Wisconsin Law Journal asked the U.S. Attorney’s office (for the Eastern District of Wisconsin) if they were also looking into the orchestra ticket alleged scam.

Officials with the Justice Department said “USAO personnel cannot confirm the existence of or otherwise comment about ongoing investigations.”

As previously reported by the Wisconsin Law Journal, the Justice Department sued Ticketmaster and its parent company in May, accusing them of running an illegal monopoly over live events in America and asking a court to break up the system that squelches competition and drives up prices for fans.

Also as previously reported by the Wisconsin Law Journal, people buying tickets online for concerts, sporting events and other live events in Minnesota will be guaranteed more transparency and protection under a so-called Taylor Swift bill signed into law Tuesday by Gov. Tim Walz.

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