HOUSTON – A 46-year-old California resident has been charged in a nationwide ticket scam that included a Texas A&M football game, announced Acting U.S. Attorney Jennifer B. Lowery.
A Houston federal grand jury returned a five-count indictment against Derrick Langford April 1, on charges of conspiracy, wire fraud and aggravated identity theft. Authorities arrested him in California yesterday. He is set to make his initial appearance before U.S. Magistrate Judge Donna M. Ryu in Oakland, California, at 1 p.m. (PST) today.
According to the indictment, Langford used email to obtain stolen credit card information from victims across the United States. He then allegedly used that data and false identities to buy tickets for sporting events, concerts and other entertainment venues across the United States which he then re-sold on internet-based ticket resale sites like Ticket Liquidator.
One such event tied to Langford was the Texas A&M football game against Clemson on Sept. 8, 2018, according to the charges. As part of the scheme, Langford had allegedly created false buyer accounts and used stolen credit card numbers to buy tickets to that game. According to the indictment, Langford then resold the fraudulently-purchased tickets on ticket resale sites to unsuspecting buyers.
Texas A&M discovered the fraud and invalidated the tickets, according to the charges. However, some had already been allegedly been sold to unsuspecting buyers which caused the university to incur a 100% loss on the fraudulent tickets.
As the scheme continued, Langford received stolen credit card information and personal identifying information of more than 75 victims in one of his email accounts, according to the charges.
If convicted of wire fraud or conspiracy to do so, Langford faces carries a penalty of up to 20 years in federal prison and a possible $250,000 maximum fine. The identity theft carries an additional two years which must be served consecutively to any other prison term imposed.
The FBI conducted the investigation with the assistance of the Texas A&M University Police Department. Assistant U.S. Attorneys Quincy Ollison and Belinda Beek are prosecuting the case.
An indictment is a formal accusation of criminal conduct, not evidence.
A defendant is presumed innocent unless convicted through due process of law.
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