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Ticket tout gang raked in £2 million but avoids jail sentence
A gang of touts who raked in more than £2m selling tickets to see Premiership football matches avoided a jail sentence at Southwark Crown Court yesterday.
Michael Mayiger, 32, his brother Yonatan Miger, 26, and Michelle Khatan, 31, headed a scam charging fans up to £252 on top of a ticket's face value.
They sold more than 20,000 Premiership tickets to see teams including Manchester United, Chelsea and Liverpool in the 2009/10 season alone.
They also employed touts Patrick Withers, Jerome Scaletta, Mark Woof and Simon Huck, to target northern clubs.
Officers estimate the gang turned over at least £2m between August 2008 and May 2011.
Alleged co-conspirators Amit Biton and Maria Montero fled the country after police made their initial raids.
The racket came to light when counter-fraud officials at some of the targeted clubs investigated block bookings and were led to Mayiger and Khatan, a husband and wife of Albanwood, Watford, and Miger from Golders Green.
Police raided an address in north London and discovered computer spread sheets relating to 21,754 tickets which, at an average mark up of £100 per ticket, officers concluded would have sold for more than £2.1m.
Mayiger was said to have netted around £150,000, while Khatan pocketed £52,500, and Miger £15,000.
Mayiger and Khatan admitted conspiracy to commit fraud by false representation and possessing criminal property. A just convicted Miger of the same offences.
Judge Higgins jailed Mayiger and Miger for 12 months suspended for two years and ordered them to carry out 280 and 250 hours of unpaid work respectively.
Kahtan was given an eight month sentence, suspended for two years, and ordered to perform 200 hours unpaid work.
Four others pleaded guilty to possessing criminal property and were give suspended jail sentences and ordered to do 150 hours community service.