A couple who made millions from ticket touting could face jail after their landmark trial
Married couple, Peter Hunter and David Smith, used multiple identities to buy £4 million worth of tickets, selling them on secondary websites for £10.8 million over a period of two and a half years.
During the three month trial, Ed Sheeran’s manager Stuart Camp told the Leeds Crown Court that they were made aware of fraudulent activity after seeing £75 seats for a Sheeran concert go on sale for £7,000.
National Trading Standards reported that Hunter and Smith bought more than 750 tickets for Ed Sheeran concerts in 2017.
A spokesperson for the trading regulator said it was "a landmark case" that marks "the first successful prosecution against a company fraudulently reselling tickets on a large scale".
As the trial unfolded, it was uncovered that the pair had used a number of techniques to harvest tickets. During a raid of their North London, home investigators found 112 different payment cards in 37 different names.
It was also discovered that the couple used at least 97 different names, 88 postal addresses and more than 290 email addresses to avoid platform restrictions.
Guilty on three counts of fraud
Hunter and Smith were found guilty on Thursday (13 Feb) of three counts of fraudulent trading including falsely representing their identities when purchasing tickets, failing to inform consumers buying tickets that they were at risk of being refused entry and "fraudulently reducing the number of event tickets available for consumers to purchase at face value.”
The pair were also convicted of possessing an article for fraud, which related to the computer bots and Insomniac web browser they used to mask IP addresses.
Hunter, 51, and Smith, 66, were told by judge Mushtaq Khokhar they will be sentenced on Monday February 24 at 2pm.