A New York man has been arrested for allegedly defrauding victims of at least $70 million in a Ponzi scheme involving the re-selling of sports and concert tickets.
According to a criminal complaint, Jason Nissen, 40, of Roslyn, allegedly solicited tens of millions of dollars from lenders by using the lenders’ money to purchase and re-sell tickets for events. What he really did with the funds was repay other previous lenders and himself, court documents allege.
Since 2012, Nissen operated a ticket resale business called the National Event Company in Manhattan through which he purchased premium tickets for entertainment and sports events, then resold them for a profit, the complaint says. During a secretly recorded phone conversation with one of his victims, Nissen allegedly falsified financial reports to his lenders, the complaint says.
“They’re inflated numbers. We really had those events and really sold the tickets and they’re inflated, you know, two to three fold depending on how it was,” Nissen said in the taped conversation, according to the complaint.
A news report by The New York Times stated Nissen was once a math teacher at a Queens high school who was reassigned amid an investigation that he was reselling concert tickets to his students in 2003. He was later fired.
Nissen is charged with wire fraud, which carries a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison. A defense lawyer for Nissen wasn’t named.