A man charged with running a Ponzi scheme involving tickets to Broadway’s Hamilton has now additionally been charged with fraud, conversion, and breach of contract involving tickets to the forthcoming Broadway transfer of the London hit, Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, according to a report on the Law360 website.
In both cases the shows themselves were not involved and those who are charged had no access to the tickets.
Joseph Meli, a New York concert promoter, and his company Advance Entertainment LLC, are accused of fraudulently persuading investors Fredrik Nielsen and Michael Connor to put up $7.86 million to buy thousands of tickets to the planned spring 2018 New York production, with the idea that they would be resold at a great profit.
Meli apparently had struck the deal with Nielsen and Connor as recently as December 2016, claiming he had a deal with Ambassador Theatre Group to buy 250,000 tickets to the show. The pair began to suspect they’d been duped in late January after news broke that Meli was charged with securities and wire fraud for a similar scheme involving non-existent tickets to the Broadway hit Hamilton.
The complaint was filed on behalf of Nielsen and Connor by their partnership company, TGT LLC.
When Nielsen and Connor contacted Meli January 27 to get their money back, Meli reportedly told them his assets had been frozen by a federal judge in connection with the Ponzi scheme. The two investors are now seeking return of their money, plus $10 million in punitive damages.