Scottish Ticket Counterfeiter Spared Jail

August 2004

Live Event Industry

A Scottish judge has told a man that he undersold fake tickets for Celtic’s Uefa Cup game in Seville last year. Sentencing Alan Cloughley to community service, Sheriff Deirdre MacNeill QC said the forged tickets were of a convincingly high standard but she remarked that Cloughley, who sold each ticket for £5, could have got more than ten times that amount. The 23-year-old economics graduate was caught by police at his Glasgow home just days before the game. Glasgow Sheriff Court heard that Cloughley produced and sold hundreds of fake tickets for Celtic’s Uefa Cup Final clash with FC Porto. He appeared for sentence on Friday having earlier admitted two breaches of the Trade Marks Act. Sheriff MacNeill said it had been a “sophisticated and well planned operation” but the court heard that people who bought tickets from Cloughley were aware that they were fakes. Sheriff MacNeill said the seriousness of the offence warranted a prison sentence, but she was prepared to order him to do 260 hours of community service. Acting on a tip-off, police raided Cloughley’s home and seized 291 tickets and £300 in cash. He claimed he bought a legitimate ticket and copied it to produce fakes, selling about 100 before being caught. Cloughley, who works as a nightclub bouncer, carried out the scam using his home computer and specialist printing equipment he purchased over the internet. A Celtic spokesman said that Cloughley’s actions provided a “security nightmare” for those involved in the planning of such a big occasion and that printing additional tickets raises serious issues regarding crowd control. The case is thought to be the first successful conviction of its kind against a counterfeiter in Scotland.
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