Live events sector
Terence Butts (63) has been convicted of fraudulent trading and converting or transferring criminal property at Southwark Crown Court and sentenced to 6 years in prison. Butts, 63, and accountant Nimal Fonseka (78), were alleged to have sold £2m worth of non existent tickets to potential customers for occasions including the V Festival and the 2008 Beijing Olympics. But they only provided £280,000 worth of tickets – just 14% of what they had sold – claiming that their key supplier ‘Peter’s Tickets’ had let them down. Butts sold 15,000 through his company Durban Vienna Ltd and his websites included summerfestivals.com and tickets4venues.com. Butts would tell customers that he could not supply tickets, telling them to reclaim the funds paid from their credit card provider. It was estimated B+S Card Services lost £1.2 million. Foneska was found not guilty on the same two charges. Security expert Reg Walker from iridium Consultancy told Live UK that Butts was ‘top of the ticket fraud tree’ but added that he had made the police aware of his actions as far back as 2008.