The Securities and Exchange Commission did not throw away its shot.
On Friday, the regulatory body announced fraud charges against two New York City men accused of running a Ponzi scheme with money raised from investors to fund businesses purportedly created to purchase and resell tickets to such high-demand shows as Adele concerts and the Broadway musical “Hamilton.”
The SEC alleges that Joseph Meli and Matthew Harriton misrepresented to investors that all of their money would be pooled to buy large blocks of tickets that would be resold at a profit to produce high returns for investors. The bulk of investor funds were allegedly used for other undisclosed purposes, namely making Ponzi payments to prior investors using money from new investors.
“As alleged in our complaint, Meli and Harriton raised millions from investors by promising big profits from reselling tickets to A-list events when in reality they were moving investor money in a circle and creating a mirage of profitability,” Paul G. Levenson, director of the SEC’s Boston Regional Office, said in a statement.
Meli and Harriton allegedly raised more than $81 million from at least 125 investors in 13 states. The pair allegedly diverted almost $2 million for such personal expenses as jewelry purchases, private school and camp tuition, and casino payments, according to the SEC.