A pair of ticket touts who targeted shows including Harry Potter and the Cursed Child have been jailed for fraud.
Peter Hunter was sentenced to four years in prison and David Smith received a two-and-a-half-year sentence.
Hunter and Smith were found guilty of fraudulent trading and possessing an article for fraud on February 14, after a trial at Leeds Crown Court.
Trading as Ticket Wiz and BZZ, the pair used multiple identities to buy £4 million worth of tickets over two and a half years, which they sold for £10.8 million.
National Trading Standards chair Toby Harris said: “This is an important milestone in the fight to tackle online ticket touts who fraudulently buy and resell tickets to thousands of victims to line their own pockets.
“Today’s sentences send a strong message to similar online ticket touts: these are criminal offences that can lead to prison sentences. I hope this leads to a step-change in the secondary ticketing market, making it easier and safer for consumers buying tickets in the future.”
MP Sharon Hodgson, who campaigns against secondary ticket touts, said: “For too long, ticket touts have operated outside the law, fraudulently reducing the number of face value tickets available to genuine fans and ripping off consumers.
“Today’s sentence is a victory, but there is much more to be done, with websites such as Viagogo and StubHub still operating and other ticket touts using similar fraudulent techniques to illegally acquire tickets.”
Hodgson added that to “truly tackle” the issue of secondary ticketing, National Trading Standards and the Competition and Markets Authority needed more funding to investigate suspected ticket touts and companies such as Google should stop sponsored advertising for secondary ticketing sellers.
Society of Ticket Agents and Retailers chief executive Jonathan Brown, added that the “sentences certainly signify the severity of this matter and further highlight the extensive work undertaken by campaigners and law enforcement”.