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Six face £10m touting prosecution

8 October 2018

SIX PEOPLE  have appeared before York Crown Court accused of money laundering and breaches of consumer law relating to the resale of millions of pounds’ worth of tickets for concerts and events.

The landmark prosecution could have implications for companies using multiple identities and credit cards to harvest tickets on sites such as StubHub and Viagogo.

They were charged as part of a National Trading Standards investigation into the secondary ticket market and are alleged to have made more than £10 million through touting on an industrial scale.

Surrey-based Andrew Connor, his partner Vachirawan Connor, and son Timothy Connor, along with Francesca Armstrong, are jointly charged along with their company, Connoco Services Ltd.

They are being prosecuted by the e-crime trading standards squad based in York.

Prosecutors claim Connoco, spent £2.3m on buying tickets between June 2015 and December 2017 and resold them for £4.5m, a profit of £2.2m.

Together all are charged with offences related to the resale of tickets for concerts and other tickets.

At the same time, prosecutors charged David Thomas Smith and Peter Hunter, with their company BZZ Ltd, alleging they placed illegally-purchased tickets on secondary ticketing websites 21,000 times between June 2015 and February 2018.

The prosecution claims BZZ purchased tickets worth more than £4m and racked up sales of more than £10.8m.

A third group of defendants could face the same charges and be tried at the same time. Maria Chenery-Woods, Mark Woods and Linda Chenery of TQ Ltd – trading as Ticket Queen, were arrested last year in an investigation called Operation Zebedee.

The case was adjourned to a later date and all defendants were released on bail.

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