March 28, 2018 / 11:04 PM / 2 years ago

New York man pleads guilty to running 'Hamilton' Ponzi scheme

NEW YORK (Reuters) - A New York man pleaded guilty on Wednesday to running what federal prosecutors called a $60 million Ponzi scheme involving the fake resale of tickets to premium events such as the Super Bowl, the U.S. Open tennis tournament and the Broadway smash hit “Hamilton.”

Jason Nissen, 45, entered his plea before U.S. District Judge Paul Engelmayer in Manhattan, prosecutors announced.

“Mr. Nissen did not benefit personally from any of his actions, and is utterly remorseful for any harm he caused,” said Michael Bachner, Nissen’s lawyer.

Nissen, a former high school teacher and later chief executive of ticket brokerage company National Event Co, was arrested in May 2017.

Prosecutors said that since 2015, Nissen solicited investors by promising them he would make a profit buying and reselling tickets, but instead used their money to enrich himself and repay earlier investors.

Fourteen years before his arrest, Nissen was caught selling tickets to students for a free Dave Matthews Band concert at the Queens, New York, high school where he then taught math. He was fired in 2004.

The case against Nissen is one of at least two brought this year by U.S. authorities in Manhattan over alleged sham ticket sales to “Hamilton” and other high-demand events. Joseph Meli, who pleaded guilty to a similar scheme, is scheduled to be sentenced next week.

Reporting by Brendan Pierson in New York; Editing by Tom Brown

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