The New York State Attorney General's investigation into corruption in the sale of tickets to sports, concert events and theatre is nearing an end. The years-long inquiry is expected conclude sometime this fall, possibly within two months, said David Corvette, a spokesman for Attorney General Dennis C. Vacco.
The inquiry made news again on July 28 when Daily Variety reported that several Broadway productions, including Cabaret, were under investigation. The State is looking into box office scams, in particular a form of abuse called "ice," in which box office personnel sell tickets to scalpers at exorbitant prices. Those jacked-up fees are then shouldered by the public.
Though the Variety article mentioned only Cabaret by name, Corvette emphasized that the Roundabout musical wasn't the primary focus of the investigation. "Virtually every theatre is subject to our scrutiny," he said. "The Roundabout is by no means the only theatre. It just happens that news about it surfaced first. There is nothing unique about the Roundabout. It has not been singled out."
"In the course of the investigation we have encountered problems in specific theatres," added Corvette added. He declined to say which other theatres or shows were being looked into, except to say that both profit and nonprofit companies were under review.
Roundabout Artistic Director Todd Haimes flatly denied any wrongdoing, telling Variety, 3We welcome an investigation. The (Roundabout) theatre doesn1t in any way condone that. It1s as horrifying for us as it is for the consumers if that1s true.2 So far, charges connected to the inquiry have involved entertainment organizations outside the theatre industry. The New York Times reported that Joseph Nekola, the former manager of the Jones Beach Theater, a concert venue, pleaded guilty of stealing more than 8,000 tickets; and the owners of Tickets on Request, a Manhattan-based company, were charged with hiking prices on tickets to sporting events and concerts.
-- By Robert Simonson