A major ticketing broker has been arrested for operating a Ponzi scheme, telling investors he was using their money to buy Hamilton tickets but instead, allegedly using the cash to repay old investors.


Jason Nissen with actress and model Brooklyn Decker at the Super Bowl in 2012 (photo via Twitter)

Jason Nissen, CEO of New York-based National Event Company, was arrested by federal authorities and charged with stealing $70 million from investors, falsely claiming the money would be used to purchase tickets for concerts, sporting events like the Super Bowl and Hamilton but instead used the money to pay back old investors.

Nissen is a member of the National Association of Ticket Brokers, an organization created to “represent the interests of legitimate ticket brokers by promoting consumer protection and educating the public about our industry.” Amplify reached out to NATB’s Executive Director Gary Adler for comment and is awaiting a response (we’ll update our story when we hear back).

The arrest of one of its members is the second public relations crisis to hit the NATB, who was criticized for being largely ineffective and hapless during last year’s Scorebig crisis, when thousands of consumers were left with canceled tickets for events they paid hundreds of dollars for.

Nissen’s arrest is also the second major ticketing related bust this year — in January, former DTI board member Joe Meli was arrested on charges of operating a Ponzi scheme that also included a promise to investors to use millions of dollars to buy up Hamilton tickets. Meli has denied wrongdoing.

Nissen is being charged with wire fraud — authorities say one of his victims included a diamond wholesaler that loaned him $32 million and a private equity firm that invested $40 million with Nissen.

This isn’t Nissen’s first run-in with problem related to ticket scalping. A former school teacher in Queens, Nissen was fired in 2004 for reselling concert tickets to his students for a profit including Dave Matthews Band tickets.