CYBERCRIME TASK FORCE LOOKING FOR ALLEGED INTERNET TICKET CON MAN
The Utah Cybercrime Task Force is asking for the public's help to find a Utah man accused of bilking people who tried to buy tickets over the Internet for the Fiesta Bowl. The Utah Attorney General's Office charged 48-year-old Mark S. Beaver with three second-degree-felony counts of communications fraud.
According to court papers, Beaver sold tickets to the 2003 Fiesta Bowl on Ebay. The victims paid half of the total purchase price in advance and were promised to receive the tickets from Beaver at a restaurant in Tempe, Arizona or a hotel in Scotsdale, Arizona on January 2nd or 3rd. No tickets were ever delivered.
Friends and associates said Beaver told them he had "gotten in over his head" and admitted to collecting $80,000 for the tickets. Investigators discovered approximately 93 different victims involving approximately $202,306. A warrant has been issued for Beaver's arrest and more charges may be forthcoming.
"The Internet offers great opportunities for the public to shop. Unfortunately it also provides a forum for criminals to take advantage of those shoppers. What happened here should be a warning that we have to be extra careful doing business with Internet companies we don't know," said Jade Pusey, Director of Law Enforcement at the Utah Attorney General's Office.
All defendants are presumed to be innocent unless convicted in a court of law. Anyone with information should contact the FBI at (801)579-1400.
The charges were filed by Assistant Attorney General Richard Hamp. FBI Special Agent Darrin E. Jones of the Utah Cybercrimes Task Force conducted the investigation. The multi-agency task force was started last year to handle crimes committed through computers like Internet fraud, identity theft, computer extortion and stalking. The public can report a crime to the Utah Cybercrimes Task Force by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.