Two ticket touts who targeted shows including Harry Potter and the Cursed Child have been found guilty of fraud, in a verdict branded “hugely significant” in the fight against misuse of the secondary market.
Leeds Crown Court was told that Peter Hunter and David Smith, trading as Ticket Wiz and BZZ, used multiple identities to buy £4 million worth of tickets over two and a half years, which they sold for £10.8 million.
The pair resold tickets for events including West End shows such as Harry Potter and the Cursed Child and gigs including Ed Sheeran and Taylor Swift.
They were found guilty of fraudulent trading and possessing an article for fraud, and will be sentenced on February 24.
Society of Ticket Agents and Retailers chief executive Jonathan Brown said: “Today’s verdict sets a hugely significant and useful precedent in the fight against ticket fraud.
“Our members worked closely with National Trading Standards to compile the evidence used to secure the conviction and we are pleased they were able to play a role in protecting ticket buyers.”
Brown added: “Our advice is to buy from STAR members who are authorised to sell tickets for events and comply with a strict code of practice including an approved dispute resolution service in the unlikely event of something going wrong.”
MP Sharon Hodgson, who campaigns against secondary ticket touts, said: “This hugely significant verdict is vindication of the years of campaigning by people who have been ripped off by ticket touts, often with devastating personal consequences.
“As someone who has been fighting against some of the worst offenders in the secondary ticketing market for years now, I hope that this verdict sets a clear precedent moving forward.”