CRAIGSLIST TICKET SCAM

October 31, 2008

Ticket scammer netted $100,000 on Craigslist,

IRVINE – Irvine detectives have arrested a 26-year-old man who they believe ran an event ticket scam that likely netted more than $100,000, police officials announced today.

Authorities took Kevin Lopez into custody at his Riverside residence Wednesday after an eight-month investigation into charges of credit card fraud, Lt. Rick Handfield said. Police allege that Lopez used stolen credit card numbers to purchase concert, theme park and event tickets, duplicating them and selling them on Craigslist.com.

Detectives believe that Lopez obtained the credit card information from a cell phone kiosk called “Mobile Tron” at the Galleria at Tyler Mall in Riverside.

“We’re not exactly sure how that connects with Mr. Lopez,” Handfield said of the kiosk, noting that Lopez did not work at the business. Mobile Tron representatives could not immediately be reached for comment.

Lopez is suspected of purchasing the tickets online and printing out multiple copies of the e-mailed tickets, selling them to different victims. Lopez purchased tickets to Disneyland, Knott’s Berry Farm, Los Angeles Laker games, UFC fights among other events, Handfield said.

Since only the first electronic copy scanned at a venue is valid, the remaining victims were left with unusable tickets, Handfield said.

“We know of venues where there were fifteen to twenty people who came to the door with tickets that were already used,” Handfield said.

Irvine police were notified of the alleged scam in October 2007, Handfield said, when an Irvine resident reported giving Lopez a personal check for phony tickets.

Detectives have confirmed $60,000 in losses connected to the ticket scam, Handfield said, but fear that many victims have yet to report their losses. He urged anyone who used the Mobile Tron kiosk to check their bank statements.

“If it sounds too good to be true, be careful,” Handfield said. “Always deal with a reputable ticket broker, Ticketmaster or the venue itself,” he added.

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Two people have been arrested in a Craiglist prostitution bust based out of a New Jersey veterinary office.

Somerset County Prosecutor Wayne Forrest and Bedminster Chief of Police William Stephens announced on Wednesday that a two-month investigation dubbed “Operation Net-Vet Harlot” resulted in the arrest of 50-year-old Cathy Rosania and 35-year-old David Baker.

Prosecutors say Rosania was the prostitute and Baker her business manager, or pimp. The office is located in the Pluckemin section of Bedminster Township.

Authorities say the investigation began when a Bedminster detective monitoring the Internet for criminal activity found an ad on Craigslist offering erotic services in the Pluckemin/Bedminster area.The officer responded to the ad and ultimately set up an appointment to meet with Rosania at the veterinary facility, located on Route 202-206 North in Bedminster, where Rosania was employed as a veterinary assistant…..READ FULL STORY http://abclocal.go.com/wabc/story?section=news/local&id=6296575

A lawyer who fervently contested the result of the 2000 presidential election and started an organization advocating voter reform used it to hide profits from another venture, the police say: a strip club that offered more than dancing.

The lawyer, Louis Posner, ran the Hot Lap Dance Club out of a fifth-floor loft in Hell’s Kitchen, where the police said the wealthy clientele paid as much as $5,000 for sex with dancers in private rooms.

The authorities raided the loft on Thursday night and arrested Mr. Posner, his wife, Betty, and 19 others on charges that included money laundering and promoting prostitution. No clients were arrested.

According to the police, Mr. Posner, a 52-year-old tax lawyer, funneled the club’s money to an account for Voter March, the grass-roots demonstration organization he started shortly after the 2000 election that has been largely inactive since 2004. He deposited money into several other accounts, the police said, adding that the amounts were low enough to avoid raising a red flag at the IRS.

Investigators seized $570,000 from 13 bank accounts and two safety deposit boxes held by the Posners, all of which could be traced back to the dance club, a spokeswoman for the Manhattan district attorney’s office said…….On its Web site, the Hot Lap Dance Club, also known as Premium Events, bills itself as the city’s premier private lap dance club, with nightly erotic shows featuring lesbian dancers and sex toys……………

A detective came across an advertisement on CRAIGSLIST for a lap dance club and, after responding to it, he received a link to the club’s Web site, according to the criminal complaint.

During an undercover detective’s visit to the club last August, a dancer told him that there was a “house dealer of cocaine,” who “made rounds at midnight,” the complaint said. One of the employees introduced the detective to a man who went by the name Lou, who told him he “was the boss,” according to the complaint. Some of the women called him “Daddy,” the complaint said.

On one occasion, Lou told the detective he had a source on the Police Department’s payroll and would be able to detect an officer, the complaint said.

When a detective visited the club in June, Ms. Malandri offered to meet with him at a different location with another dancer to have a threesome for $5,000, the complaint said.

The business earned $1 million over 10 months, the police said.

On Friday afternoon, the club had a notice on the door saying it was closed……….READ FULL STORY http://www.nytimes.com/2008/07/19/nyregion/19brothel.html?ref=nyregion …….http://www.hotlapdance.com/…………..BACK IN MARCH A BUSSINESSMAN GOT KICKED IN THE FACE BY ACCIDENT IN HOTLAPDANCE I SUSPECT THIS MAY HAVE BEEN A CONTRIBUTING FACTOR…..NEW YORK (AP) ― A businessman claims in a lawsuit that he was injured when a stripper giving him a lap dance swiveled and smacked him in the face with the heel of her shoe.

Stephen Chang, a securities trader, said in court papers filed Friday that he was at the Hot Lap Dance Club near Madison Square Garden and was getting a paid lap dance when the accident occurred early Nov. 2, 2007.

According to the lawsuit, as the dancer swung around, the heel of her shoe hit him in the eye, causing him “serious injuries.”

A man who identified himself as the manager of the Hot Lap Dance Club said he was unaware of the accident or the state Supreme Court lawsuit. The club’s lawyer, Stephen Ateshoglou, did not immediately return a call.

On its Web site, the club describes itself as the “Playboy Mansion of Manhattan party lofts.” The site says admission is $50 plus a one-time club membership fee of $10 for newcomers. Lap dances cost around $40, plus admission, according to the Web site….READ FULL STORY…………..

A Brooklyn gang used a scam on craigslist.com to shake down New Yorkers with the lure of discounted iPhones, police said yesterday.

When the victims arrived, the thugs robbed them at gunpoint, cops said.

“It was all a ruse to get the buyers with money in [the criminals’] comfort zone so they could rob them,” said Lt. Garfield Brown of the Brooklyn Central Robbery Unit.

In one particularly nasty holdup on April 10, the gun-toting robbers allegedly demanded cash from a 69-year-old man who showed up at with two children in the car…….. READ FULL STORY http://www.nypost.com/seven/06132008/news/regionalnews/irobbed_115332.htm

DeKalb County police say a man accused of sexually assaulting two women by using the popular Web site Craigslist to lure them to a vacant apartment is HIV-positive.

Eighteen-year-old Allen Jamar McDowell is accused in two separate assaults at an apartment near his home in March and April. Police spokeswoman Mekka Parish said Tuesday one woman was raped and the other robbed and sexually assaulted at the vacant apartment at 3527 Kensington Road…..READ FULL STORY http://www.wsbtv.com/news/16184165/detail.html

NEW YORK — Seven people have been arrested in connection with two robberies where people thought they’d bought a cheap Porsche on Craig’s list, only to be beaten up and robbed, police said.A Pennsylvania couple responded to a Craigslist ad for a 2006 Porsche, police said:When they arrived, a group of men attacked them……….READ FULL STORY http://www.wnbc.com/news/15013111/detail.html

The pair met people through Craigslist and arranged meetings at hotels or homes to engage in sex acts. They allegedly conspired to steal identification documents during the meetings by distracting the individual. Then they allegedly used the stolen identification, checks or bank records to buy things, including prescription drugs…….READ FULL STORY http://www.kxmc.com/getArticle.asp?ArticleId=232328

Undercover officers investigated an online post advertising “Lovely Asian Girls wan to make u very happy……..Signs at all three nondescript locations advertised massage in conjunction with a range of other services, including acupuncture, chiropractic care and “pain control.”……..READ FULL STORY http://articles.latimes.com/2005/jul/02/local/me-smuggling2

A woman seeking a photographer to take modeling pictures of her was met by a man with a fake badge, who ordered her into a car and raped her, according to Palm Beach County Sheriff’s deputies….READ FULL STORY http://www.wptv.com/content/breakingnews/story.aspx?content_id=efa23184-95ae-4977-b212-f9791467477b