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Central Ohio man indicted for allegedly selling fake Taylor Swift concert tickets

Central Ohio man indicted for allegedly selling fake Taylor Swift concert tickets

Sav McKee

Karma is…an indictment and court date for allegedly selling fake concert tickets.

Billy Nelson, 49, of Lewis Center, Ohio, has been indicted by the Cuyahoga County grand jury on a felony charge of theft.

Nelson allegedly hacked a woman’s Facebook account to sell tickets to Taylor Swift’s Cincinnati concert last summer, according to Independence, Ohio Detective Brian Skirk, who investigated the case. On the Facebook account, Nelson posted under the disguise of Ash Lautenschlager, “I have 4 tickets to the Taylor Swift Concert in Cincinnati July 1st that I’m unfortunately unable to attend due to some pregnancy updates for my sister…can be transferred on Ticketmaster. Message me if you’re interested.”


The victims, who reside in Independence Ohio, paid $1,200 for these tickets, which were fake. With some great investigative skills, Detective Shirk said that he was able to track the money through Zelle. Nelson was registered to Zelle through an iCloud email address, so Shirk subpoenaed Apple to find the owner of the email address, which then gave him a head start of a legal name and address.

“Once I found out who it was, I was able to see what bank the money went to, and then I matched the transactions. Once everything matched up, we were able to send the case to the Grand Jury,” explained Detective Shirk.

The Cuyoha Court of Please prosecutors and judges will decide if Nelson has to pay back the tickets if charged. The woman who bought the ticket could also sue Nelson if he’s convicted, according to Detective Shirk.

“This was our first report of concert ticket fraud,” said Shirk. “But be aware of who you’re talking to online. Look for common red flags of people that are selling things for suspicious reasons. Look for the information to match – the alleged criminal’s Facebook didn’t match where he asked the victim to send the money. Also, buy your tickets through confirmed vendors.”

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