Two ticket touts that resold tickets for concerts from artists such as Ed Sheeran (pictured) have been ordered to repay over £6m ($7.4/€7m), or face extra time in prison.
Peter Hunter and David Smith, who traded as Ticket Wiz and BZZ, were convicted in February 2020 after being found guilty of fraudulent trading in relation to the resale of tickets for concerts, major sporting events and West End shows.
Hunter and Smith made almost £9m from the fraud, and have been ordered to repay £6,167,522.02 over the next three months, or face an extra eight years in prison.
Hunter was originally jailed for four years while Smith was given a two-and-a-half-year sentence.
The landmark cases were the UK’s first successful convictions against a company fraudulently reselling tickets on this scale, according to National Trading Standards.
The investigation was conducted by the Yorkshire and Humber Regional Economic Crime Unit (RECU) and found that Hunter and Smith had benefited from their crimes by £8,750,732.00.
As reported by the BBC, Ramona Senior, unit head at RECU, said: “Today’s orders indicate that those making large profits from an illegal activity can expect the full weight of the law to be applied to them.”
Through BZZ, between May 2010 and December 2017, the pair bought and sold hundreds of tickets at inflated prices for concerts by Sheeran, Madness, McBusted and others.
During their trial, it was revealed that the pair had purchased more than 750 tickets for Sheeran events alone. Hunter and Smith used at least 97 different names, 88 postal addresses and over 290 email addresses to avoid restrictions and make multiple purchases.