The Justice Department reported Friday that three Great Neck-based ticket brokers are being charged millions of dollars for settlements that will fix alleged violations of the Better Online Ticket Sales Act.
According to complaints from the United States in the Eastern District of New York, three Great Neck-based brokers allegedly raised millions in revenues by buying thousands of tickets on Ticketmaster and reselling them at « substantial markups ». According to the report, the brokers have collectively bought more than 155,000 tickets since 2017, which translates into more than $ 26 million in revenue.
The brokers also allegedly used online bots to bypass testing to prevent non-human visitors to websites and used various programs to hide the IP addresses from the computers that were being used to conduct transactions.
According to the report, the alleged acts were the first violations of the Better Online Ticket Sales Act, passed in 2016. According to the report, the law prevents ticket brokers from buying large quantities of tickets online and reselling them at inflated prices.
The three brokers, who allegedly had the same address at 747 Middle Neck Road according to the report, were named Just In Time Tickets Inc. and owned by Evan Kohanian, Concert Specials Inc. and owned by Steven Ebrani and Cartisim Corp. and owner Simon listed Ebrani. Efforts to reach the owners or a representative of their company for comment have been unsuccessful.
« Those who break the BOTS Act cheat fans by forcing them to pay excessive prices for concerts, theater performances and sporting events, » said acting US attorney Seth D. DuCharme. « This office will go out of its way to ban fraudulent practices that harm consumers. »
The civil penalties, which were different for each agent, total more than $ 31 million, according to the Justice Department. Just In Time Tickets Inc. and Kohanian will be charged a total of $ 11.2 million, Concert Special Inc. and Steven Ebrani will be charged $ 16 million, and Cartisim Crop will be charged $ 4.4 million. and Simon Ebrani according to the report.
According to the report, the brokers were unable to pay that amount, so the three will have to pay more than $ 3.7 million together to ensure the suspension of the remaining civil penalties. Just In Time Tickets Inc. and Kohanian pay $ 1.64 million, Concert Special Inc. and Steven Ebrani pay $ 1.56 million and Cartisim Crop. and Simon Ebrani have to pay nearly $ 500,000, according to the report.
The settlement orders also prohibit brokers from using online bots to bypass website protocols that prevent non-human interactions from occurring, prohibit hiding computer IP addresses from corporate activities, and allow the purchase of tickets from credit or debit cards Ban those who are not on behalf of the owner or the employees of their company, the report said. The three owners are also required to keep records and ensure full compliance with government officials.
« These defendants are believed to have defrauded the system to the detriment of consumers, » said Acting Assistant Attorney General Brian Boynton of the Department of Justice’s civil division. “Today’s filing indicates that the Department of Justice will enforce the Better Online Ticket Selling Act in appropriate cases. We look forward to working with our partners in the Federal Trade Commission on this and other consumer concerns. «
The report said the three brokers had not made a final determination of wrongdoing by Friday. Efforts to reach law enforcement officials for more information have been unsuccessful.