Former Math Teacher Gets Two Years For $71 Million Ticket Scam

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A former math teacher was sentenced to more than two years in prison for fleecing investors of $71 million through a Ponzi scheme disguised as an operation to buy and sell tickets to high-profile concerts, musicals and sporting events.

Jason Nissen, 47, raised money from investors he said he would use to purchase and resell tickets to popular events – such as the Super Bowl and the hit Broadway musical “Hamilton” – and instead used it to repay earlier investors, according to prosecutors. He pleaded guilty to a single count of wire fraud in March 2018.

On Friday, U.S. District Judge Paul Engelmeyer in Manhattan sentenced Nissen to 27 months in prison, well below the eight to 10 years called for by federal guidelines. While the judge said Nissen had “perpetrated a fraud on a massive scale,” lying to investors and fabricating documents to keep the scheme going, he noted that he had no criminal record, a history of community involvement, two young children and a wife.

The judge also pointed out that Nissen undertook the fraud as part of an attempt to save his business and that he contacted his victims and reported his crime to prosecutors before they approached him.

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