A former mathematics teacher has been sentenced to over a couple of years in prison for fleecing shareholders of $71 million via a Ponzi scheme disguised as a means to get and sell tickets to high profile concerts, musicals and sporting occasions.
Jason Nissen, 47, obtained money from investors that he said could be used to buy and pay tickets to popular events — like the Super Bowl along with the hit Broadway musical”Hamilton” — and rather used it to repay earlier investors, according to prosecutors.
On Friday, US District Judge Paul Engelmeyer at Manhattan sentenced Nissen to 27 months in prison, well beneath the eight to ten years called due to national rules. While the judge stated Nissen had”committed a fraud on a huge scale,” lying to investors and generating records to keep the plot going, he noticed the ex-teacher had no criminal record, a history of community participation, two young kids and a spouse.
The judge pointed out that Nissen undertook the fraud as part of the endeavor to rescue his company and he approached his victims and reported his own offense to prosecutors until they approached him.
“I’ve found your situation for a particularly hard and awful one,” Engelmeyer explained.
The case arose amid a crackdown by federal prosecutors on misconduct from the mostly unregulated $15 billion ticket-resale sector, where middlemen buy blocks of tickets and resell them at inflated rates. The highest-profile individual targeted at the attempt, sports radio jock Craig Carton, was detained in November and has been sentenced in April to 3 1/2 decades .
Nissen, the former chief executive officer of National Event Co., began the ticket-resale company in 2012 and started the fraud three decades afterwards, according to court filings.
Prosecutors had requested Engelmeyer to hand a punishment over the scope known as for sentencing guidelines, stating the”enormous scale of these losses” due to his own action is”very serious” and his offenses involved a”joint, calculated and sustained effort” to lie to investors, which he generated fake documents and records in support of their scam.
“The suspect’s acute and exploitative unlawful behavior cries out for severe punishment to encourage respect for law enforcement and to provide just punishment for his crimes,” prosecutors said in a sentencing memo. “He participated in this strategy without respect to the devastating impact his offense had on his victims.”
Nissen’s attorney, Michael Bachner, stated his client realized he was planning to deal with time but urged the judge to maintain the sentence as brief as you can, noting that he fully cooperated with prosecutors and pleaded guilty. Bachner said Nissen place his whole life savings to his firm, took no wages and was just hoping to keep his company afloat instead of file for bankruptcy.
“Mr. Nissen knows that his behavior was basically wrong,” Bachner said. “He feels horrible for what he’s done.”
A tearful Nissenhis voice trembling occasionally, agreeing to his victims and his family and friends, including his two young kids and his spouse, who had been seated in front row behind him and is eight weeks pregnant.
“I lost my way in attempting to keep my business afloat,” Nissen said. “I always thought things would work out”