FBI Chicago
Special Agent Garrett Croon
(312) 829-1199
April 4, 2016

FBI Continues Search for Wanted Individuals in Counterfeit Ticket Scheme

With the 2016 baseball season about to begin in Chicago, the FBI is asking for the public’s assistance in locating five individuals who were recently charged with running a counterfeit ticket scheme in the Chicago area.

Sixteen individuals were charged in February by Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan as part of a wide-ranging counterfeit ticket scheme for games, events, and concerts at Chicago’s Soldier Field, United Center, and the Allstate Arena in Rosemont. Since the charges were announced, 11 people have been taken into custody leaving five outstanding. Physical descriptions and photos of each suspect are available here: https://www.fbi.gov/wanted/seeking-info/operation-bear-down/view. All 16 defendants were charged in Cook County Circuit Court with forgery, a class-3 felony.

The group allegedly carried out the scheme by making and printing counterfeit tickets for major games and events, including Chicago Bears, Bulls, and Blackhawks games; WWE Extreme Wrestling; and Disney on Ice. The defendants are alleged to have then advertised the tickets online. The sales were then completed by meeting with the victims to exchange the tickets for cash. The victims discovered the tickets they purchased were counterfeit when they attempted to enter the events.

The search for the subjects is being coordinated by Chicago FBI and the Chicago Police Department. Anyone recognizing or having any information about any of these individuals’ whereabouts is asked to call the Chicago FBI at (312) 421-6700 or your nearest law enforcement agency.

The public is reminded that a complaint contains only charges and is not evidence of guilt. The defendants are presumed innocent and are entitled to a fair trial at which the government has the burden of proving guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.

For tips on how to protect yourself from common scams during this year’s baseball and summer concert seasons, go to www.ic3.gov or www.fbi.gov.