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White Sox employees, broker indicted in alleged ticket fraud scheme

A ticket broker and two former Chicago White Sox employees have been indicted after allegedly attempting to fraudulently shift thousands of tickets to games of the Major League Baseball (MLB) team.

According to the indictment, former employees James Costello and William O’Neil fraudulently generated complimentary and discount game tickets without the team’s authorisation and gave them to the broker, Bruce Lee.

The indictment charges Lee with 11 counts of wire fraud and two counts of money laundering, while Costello is charged with one count of wire fraud, and O’Neil is charged with one count of making a false statement to the FBI. Arraignments have not yet been scheduled.

Lee, who owned the Chicago-based ticket brokerage Great Tickets, paid the duo in cash, and later sold the passes on StubHub at prices below face value.

During the 2016 to 2019 baseball seasons, Lee earned approximately $868,369 (£665,000/€788,000) by selling around 34,876 tickets that he fraudulently obtained from Costello and O’Neil, the charges allege. As a result of the scheme, the White Sox suffered a loss of approximately $1m.

The indictment is not evidence of guilt. Each count of wire fraud is punishable by up to 20 years in federal prison, while each money laundering count carries a maximum sentence of 10 years. The false statement charge is punishable by up to five years.

Image: Ken Lund