Exclusive: 2 men accuse Gold Coast Tickets of fraud

April 8, 2013 3:46:08 PM PDT
Two men are accusing a major ticket broker in Chicago of using their names to obtain tickets to sporting events and concerts and then selling those tickets for a profit.

The men are filing a lawsuit against their former bosses Gold Coast Tickets, claiming the company has used their names to make money for more than a dozen years.

Terry Rand is accusing the well-known ticket broker of using his identity, without his knowledge to fraudulently secure credit cards to purchase tickets to sporting events, concerts and theater productions which were then sold for profit by the broker.

"All these years. That's years of considerable fraud," Rand said.

Rand worked for the company for a few years starting in 1994 but he says it appears the scheme started more than a decade ago.

According to the lawsuit , that's when Gold Coast Tickets and co-owner Daniel Finkel began the practice of hiring residents of mens' hotels in the city to stand in line to purchase tickets.

In order to be paid for their work, they'd have to supply their names, addresses and social security numbers.

Ricky Cisero says he was friends with Finkel for nearly 20 years and knew his information was being used to apply for both season tickets and credit cards but others didn't.

"I kept asking him is this legal to do and do I profit? And his response, well 'It's my money and I'll pay the bills. Don't worry,'" Cisero said.

Cisero called Rand and a lawyer after he had an argument with Finkel and filed the lawsuit.

"The law is very clear. If you want to use someone's ID for commercial purposes you have to secure their permission," the plaintiffs' attorney Dan Biederman said.

Finkel could not be reached for comment.

Gold Coast Tickets co-owner Max Waisvisz denies any wrongdoing and paints Cisero as nothing more than a disgruntled employee.

"It's not involving me personally. It's a friend that if you've ever had a bff and suddenly you get in an argument, that's what basically happened," Waisvisz said.

The attorney for the plaintiffs plans to head back to court in the next couple of days.

A spokesperson at the Illinois Attorney General's Office said that no complaints regarding this matter have been filed with their office, but encourages anyone who believes they may have been the victim of identity theft to contact them.