City man sentenced in sports ticket scheme

March 11, 2006|By MATTHEW DOLAN | MATTHEW DOLAN,SUN REPORTER

A federal judge ordered a 47-year-old Baltimore man to prison for almost five years yesterday for tricking sports fans into sending their personal credit card information to fake ticket-sales companies.

U.S. District Judge Andre M. Davis sentenced Stuart Blumberg to 57 months in prison for his part in the conspiracy. Davis also ordered Blumberg to pay almost $300,000 in restitution.

According to the statement of facts presented at his guilty plea in November, Blumberg, Bruce Schein and several others placed newspaper and magazine advertisements from 1999 until 2004, saying they had tickets for sale to sporting events.

The fictitious business included Parkway Tickets, Sunshine Sporting Goods, Parkway Games, Tick Tock Tickets and Jerry's Standard Tickets.

Private mailing companies such as Mail Boxes Etc. were used as the addresses for these fake businesses, according to prosecutors.

Authorities with the U.S. Postal Investigative Service said Blumberg, with the help of Schein, culled through the personal credit card information sent in by customers, charged their accounts and never sent any tickets.

"Before the credit card company could figure out that fraud was involved, Blumberg closed the business and created a new one," prosecutors said yesterday.

The total scheme affected 10 victims and led to $400,000 in losses for the customers and banks involved.

Schein pleaded guilty to conspiracy to use unauthorized access devices and was sentenced on Jan. 27 to slightly more than a year in prison. Davis, the judge, also ordered Schein to pay $70,000 in restitution.

matthew.dolan@baltsun.com

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