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Division of Consumer Affairs
Press Release

Attorney General
Anne Milgram
Division of Consumer Affairs, Director
David Szuchman
   
For Immediate Release:
May 29, 2009
For Further Information Contact:
Jeff Lamm, 973-504-6327
 
Attorney General Milgram Files Suit Against Two More Ticket Sellers
Springsteen Concert Tickets Sold Prior to June 1 On-Sale Date

NEWARK – The Office of the Attorney General through its Division of Consumer Affairs today filed suit against two New Jersey-based ticket sellers who advertised and sold tickets to upcoming Bruce Springsteen concerts to undercover investigators before the tickets initially go on sale this Monday.

With today’s action, a total of five ticket sellers have been charged with violating New Jersey’s Consumer Fraud Act and Advertising Regulations regarding the upcoming Springsteen shows at Giants Stadium. All five sellers advertised and sold tickets to Springsteen’s fall concerts at Giants Stadium prior to the June 1 initial sales date for tickets. Ticketmaster will conduct the initial sale of tickets.

“Selling something that you don’t have and ultimately might not be able to provide to the purchaser is fraud,” Attorney General Milgram said. “Our investigation into the ticket sales industry, and how these sellers can advertise and sell tickets before the tickets actually go on sale to the public, is widening.”

Almost Backstage Inc., of Vauxhall, N.J., which does business as abtickets.com and Ticket Town, Inc., of Fort Lee, which does business as northeasttickets.com, were named as defendants in today’s Complaints.

Almost Backstage allegedly offered at least 44 tickets for each of the three Springsteen concerts in excess of face value. The prices offered ranged from $317.50 to $574 per ticket. An undercover investigator from the Division yesterday purchased two tickets for $317.50 each.

Ticket Town offered at least 44 tickets for each Springsteen show for $330 to $575 per ticket. An undercover investigator yesterday purchased two tickets for $320 per ticket.

In both cases, the investigator purchased tickets for specific seating locations identified by row and seat number.

“These firms cannot offer to sell specific seats that haven’t gone on sale and will not actually be available for purchase until June 1. We will continue to dig deeper into the working of ticket sales industry and stop fraudulent activity,” said David Szuchman, Consumer Affairs Director.

The state is seeking restitution for affected consumers, assessment of civil penalties and compliance with applicable state laws and regulations by the defendants. The state also is seeking the suspension or revocation of the ticket broker license held by Almost Backstage.

The concerts at Giants Stadium are scheduled for September 30 and October 2 and 3.

The state on Wednesday filed Complaints against three tickets sellers -- Select-A-Ticket, Inc., Orbitz Worldwide, Inc., and TicketNetwork, Inc. – for advertising and selling tickets to the September and October Springsteen shows before the June 1 initial sales date.

Consumers may file complaints with the Division online at www.njConsumerAffairs.gov/ocp/ocpform.htm or by calling 1-800-242-5846 (toll free within N.J.) or 973-504-6200.

Deputy Attorney General David M. Puteska is representing the state in these matters. The Complaints were filed in State Superior Court in Essex County.

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