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January 27, 2017

Posted  February 21, 2017

The SEC announced fraud charges against Joseph Meli and Matthew Harriton, two New York City men accused of running a Ponzi scheme with money raised from investors to fund businesses purportedly created to purchase and resell tickets to high-demand shows such as Adele concerts and the Broadway musical Hamilton.  The SEC alleges that Meli and Harriton misrepresented to investors that all of their money would be pooled to buy large blocks of tickets that would be resold at a profit to produce high returns for investors.  The bulk of investor funds were allegedly used for other undisclosed purposes, namely making Ponzi payments to prior investors using money from new investors.  Meli and Harriton also allegedly diverted almost $2 million for such personal expenses as jewelry, private school, camp tuition, and casino payments.  According to the SEC’s complaint, the scheme went so far as to misrepresent that an agreement was in place with the producer of Hamilton to purchase 35,000 tickets to the musical.  Investor money was supposedly paying part of that cost with the return on the investment promised within eight months.  The SEC alleges no such agreement or purchase ever happened.  Meli and Harriton allegedly raised more than $81 million from at least 125 investors in 13 states.  The SEC brough charges against Meli and Harriton along with their four purported ticket reselling businesses: Advance Entertainment, Advance Entertainment II, 875 Holdings, and 127 HoldingsSEC

Tagged in: Financial and Investment Fraud, Ponzi Schemes,