Two man jailed for ticket fraud

25 January 2013

Jailed: Andrew Lagan

Two ticket fraudsters have today, Friday 25 January, been sentenced to four years each at Harrow Crown Court.

Andrew Lagan, 44, from Middlesborough, and Gary Agar, 44, from Welling were found guilty of two counts of conspiracy to defraud and one count of money laundering.

These two fraudsters deliberately exploited the public demand for tickets

The pair were originally arrested in Autumn 2010 following a proactive investigation into ticket fraud by detectives working on Operation Podium. They were involved with a company called 'Good Time Entertainment' which frequently advertised to sell tickets to music and sporting events then failing to supply them.

The company relied on the public looking for tickets through the internet. Following a search, they were taken to a genuine looking ticket site where they would be directed to an online booking form where victims would enter their credit or debit card numbers as payment. They would receive a confirmation email reasonably quickly and payment would be taken for the tickets by Good Time Entertainment.

However, two to three weeks later customers were advised by email from 'customer services' that they were unable to supply any tickets as they had been let down by their supplier, and that they were unable to offer refunds. The email advised customers to refer the matter of re-imbursement to their banks or to use the refund facility afforded by the Consumer Credit Act if payments had been taken by credit card.

Once they had taken the cash, the money was laundered through oversees accounts, ultimately making its way back to Agar and Lagan.

Officers believe that the fraudsters took almost £3 million from the public for tickets that were not supplied, which in many cases resulted in claims to banks and credit card companies from victims looking to recuperate their lost cash.

The action taken by detectives working on Operation Podium was proactive to prevent fraudsters such as these from targeting the Olympic and Paralympic Games.

Detective Superintendent Nick Downing said: "These two fraudsters deliberately exploited the public demand for tickets for high profile events, taking money from people for tickets which they were not going to supply, and defrauding banks and credit card companies who were forced into reimbursing victims for their loss. If you are buying tickets for events, make sure that you only buy from official sites to ensure that your ticket is genuine and that you ultimately get to see the event you have paid for."