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Six individuals connected with Xclusive Tickets Limited and Xclusive Leisure and Hospitality have been charged with a range of offenses after an investigation by the United Kingdom’s Serious Fraud Office and the Metropolitan Police.
Terence Shepherd, Allan Schaverien, Alan Scott, Cyril Gold, and Geert van Meel have all been charged with offenses arising from Xclusive’s sale of tickets to a wide range of events, including the 2008 Beijing Olympics. Additionally, Sheperd’s wife, Margaret Canty-Sheperd, has been charged with money laundering.
It is alleged that the Xclusive companies have a long history of failing to deliver on their promises. Many customers complained that they never received the tickets, while others reported receiving tickets that were later revealed to have been stolen. All told, the Xclusive companies received over £5 million in payment for tickets that were never delivered.
The accused claim that their failure to supply the tickets was due to the collapse of another company, Peter Ticketing. However, prosecutor Miranda Moore QC told Southwark Crown Court that Peter Ticketing was actually a bogus entity created to conceal Xclusive’s fraud.
Shepherd, Scott, Gold, van Meel, and Canty-Shepherd have all pleaded not guilty. Schaverein has pleaded guilty and has been bailed for sentencing until after his co-defendants’ trial is over.
Xclusive is just the latest ticket-related scandal to be exposed. According to a report in Dagbladet, a Norwegian company by the name of Euroteam habitually pays cash for black market tickets, which it then resells at a hefty premium. For example, in the run-up to the 2006 World Cup, Euroteam was able to sell $81.7 million worth of tickets despite the fact that they were not an official distributor.
Dagbladet also alleges that the company contacted FIFA vice president Jack Warner in 2009 and asked him for tickets to the 2010 World Cup. Warner, who is also president of the Caribbean Football Union, is said to have ordered tickets to several World Cup matches only to have the deal with Euroteam fall through for unknown reasons. In February, Dagbladet reported that FIFA’s ethics committee was investigating Warner’s links to Euroteam, but nothing seems to have happened since then.