Live events sector
42 year old Traci Monti, who allegedly raised more than US$5 million from investors to buy and sell tickets on the secondary ticketing market, has been charged with seven counts of wire fraud – each of which is punishable by up to 20 years in prison – and two counts of money laundering, each of which carries a maximum sentence of ten years. It is alleged Monti ispent the money on a house and car, and had been arrested by Chicago police.
According to the indictment by the US attorney for the northern district of Illinois and the Chicago offices of the FBI and Internal Revenue Service (IRS), Monti, who was once Joan Jett’s publicist, told investors she had “business relationships with multiple primary market sources, such as event promoters and venues, through which she purportedly purchased tickets at face value”. The indictment alleges these relationships didn’t exist, and that in reality Monti used the victims’ funds to fund her lifestyle and to make “ponzi-type payments to other investors”.
Monti pleaded not guilty in the arraignment. A pre-trial status hearing is set for the 9th of November.
In 2012, Monti faced a legal action from an investor who claimed he had lent her $43,750 to buy Paul McCartney concert tickets which she said she planned to re-sell. The complaint by Lloyd Gillman said that neither the $43,750, nor the agreed 25% interest for a 30 day period of the loan, was ever repaid. After Gillman filed the suit, court records show the two parties agreed to settle – and the somewhat unusual terms were that Monti would return the original $43,750 to Gillman by July 5, 2012, and then deliver various concert tickets, including 20 VIP tickets for Lollapalooza, 40 tickets to Bruce Springsteen, 20 tickets for Madonna, and either four tickets for Barbara Streisand or 20 tickets for Justin Bieber.
Monti never completed the settlement, resulting in a $150,000 judgment against her by Cook County Judge John Griffin.