The Los Angeles Criminal Law Blog

Craigslist Not the Happiest Place for Disney Ticket Buyers

And this is why it’s a bad idea to buy tickets from scalpers.

Most of us have done it at one time or another. Whether it was from a scalper in the stadium parking lot, or that person on craigslist with “a few extra tickets,” reselling and scalping of tickets is a very common occurrence.

Unfortunately, sometimes criminals prey on those in need of a bargain or a last minute ticket to that sold-out Bieber concert.

Terance Ray Hutchinson, 35, pleaded guilty earlier this week to counterfeiting a registered mark, reports the Press Telegram. His crime was selling fake tickets to the happiest place on earth, Disneyland.

The problem with criminals like Hutchinson is that they are often hard to catch. The victims respond to a craigslist ad. They meet up in a public place and purchase the park-hopper tickets. They then arrive at Disneyland and find out they've been duped.

Where's the seller? No one knows.

However, one brilliant victim called Hutchinson and claimed that they needed more tickets. Instead, it was a sting operation that brought Hutchinson into custody.

Note to criminals: Trick me once, shame on you. Trick me twice, and the police will arrest you.

Seriously, don't get greedy.

The punishment for counterfeiting a trademarked item depends on the quantify of fakes and the value. For amateurs, who produced less than 1,000 fakes with a total market value less than the value set for grand theft ($950), the punishment is up to a year in jail and/or a fine of up to $10,000.

However, if they've hit the big leagues of bootleg and are producing in large quantities or higher values, they can face up to three years in prison and a fine of up to $500,000. Repeat offenders face even more severe sanctions.

Compared to the potential outcome, Hutchinson got lucky. He is expected to be sentenced to the time he's already served. He'll also have to pay back any of his victims that come forward. Disney claims that fifty of the fake tickets were brought to the park.

If you were one of the unlucky few, or you have more information, call Sgt. Mike Austin at 310-830-1123.

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