The courts have recovered almost £15,000 from a convicted fraudster jailed last year following an investigation by Northamptonshire Police.
Nathaniel Gamble, formerly of Westminster Crescent, Brackley, was jailed for five-and-a-half years in March 2018 after being convicted of 15 counts of fraud with a further 74 offences taken into consideration, offences which took place between 2014 and 2016.
Seven months on and a confiscation order has now been served on Gamble following a further investigation by the Force’s Financial Investigation Unit (FIU).
At the original hearing, Northampton Crown Court was told how Gamble had been involved in the fraudulent sale of tickets to festivals and music events such as Biffy Clyro and the Boomtown Festival, with the funds used to fund a gambling habit.
He advertised them for sale on social media and online advertising sites and then receiving money from victims for tickets which were never sent out, or for which counterfeit tickets were received by unwitting customers.
Funds were identified in an online gambling account to the value of £14,755.03, and these funds were restrained by financial investigators.
A confiscation order has now been imposed by Northampton Crown Court to the value of £14,755.03, the funds available to Gamble.
In total, 163 victims have been identified as having been defrauded by Gamble since 2014.
Following an application by the prosecution, the court ordered that all monies recovered from Gamble should be repaid to his victims by way of a compensation order.
The available funds were not sufficient to cover the full extent of the fraud, however, each victim will receive approximately 59 per cent of the money they lost, with the possibility of further repayments being made from any assets subsequently identified at any time in the future.
Det Sgt Richard Barnett, from the Force’s FIU, said: “We are pleased we have been able to secure and retrieve funds from Gamble.
"I appreciate we have not been able to get all of the victims’ money back, but the amount recovered is not insignificant and the confiscation order will remain in place and can be revisited at any point in the future.”
In March 2018, the court was told Gamble had been released from prison on May 31, 2017, following a previous conviction for ticket fraud offences.
But less than a week later, on June 5, he began advertising tickets to festivals and music events on websites including Facebook, Gumtree and ticket reselling sites.
Buyers were asked to transfer money to bank accounts, and were either sent fake tickets or never received tickets at all. Some victims only realised they had bought fake tickets when they arrived at events and were denied access, in some cases losing hundreds of pounds each.
He continued selling fake tickets under his own name and aliases including Nathan Andrew, John Woodhouse, Ross Brock, John Wilson and Nial Chapman, until his arrest on November 21 last year.
How to avoid falling for a ticket scam
Only buy tickets from the venue’s box office, promoter, official agent or reputable ticket exchange site
Tickets advertised in places such as auction sites, social media and fan forums may be fake or non-existent, however authentic the seller may seem and whether they’re advertised at or above face value, or at a price that’s too good to be true
Paying by credit card offers increased protection over other payment methods when buying tickets online
Never pay someone you don’t know for tickets by bank transfer. With the abolition of credit card payment surcharges, some sellers may ask you do this. The responsibility for losses lies with you, and your bank doesn’t have to refund your money
Before buying online, check that the page is genuine (carefully enter the address yourself, not from a link) and secure (https and a locked padlock), and log out when you’re done
If you think you’ve fallen victim to a ticket scam, report it to Action Fraud, the UK’s national fraud and internet crime reporting centre, by visiting www.actionfraud.police.uk or calling 0300 1232040
For more information and advice on avoiding ticket fraud, visit www.getsafeonline.org/ticketfraud