Two from Atlanta indicted for trafficking fake Super Bowl tickets

Workers use a lift to install a Super Bowl LIII wrap on the outside of Mercedes-Benz Stadium as it is transformed for the big game. Several people were indicted related to selling fake tickets to previous Super Bowl games. Curtis Compton/ccompton@ajc.com
Workers use a lift to install a Super Bowl LIII wrap on the outside of Mercedes-Benz Stadium as it is transformed for the big game. Several people were indicted related to selling fake tickets to previous Super Bowl games. Curtis Compton/ccompton@ajc.com

Two Georgia men are among 13 people who were indicted for trafficking counterfeit tickets to the Super Bowl and other events.

U.S. Attorney William McSwain announced the indictments Thursday at a press conference before the Super Bowl, saying that Eugene Smith and Eric Ferguson, among others, conspired to sell fake tickets to Super Bowl games, including the one the Atlanta Falcons and New England Patriots played in Houston in 2017.

Smith, 45 and from Lithonia, allegedly purchased real tickets to events and gave them to Ferguson, 50 and from Riverdale, to duplicate. The indictment alleges that the pair conspired to sell tickets to sporting events including the past two Super Bowls between Dec. 2016 and April 2018. They were distributed to a network of people who would advertise and sell the tickets to unsuspecting fans, a statement about the indictments said.

The pair were charged with conspiracy to commit wire fraud, wire fraud, conspiracy to traffic in counterfeit goods and trafficking in counterfeit goods. Smith has pleaded guilty to all counts, and is waiting to be sentenced. Ferguson has pleaded not guilty, and is awaiting trial. It is scheduled to start Feb. 11.

Additionally, another person indicted in a related case was arrested Tuesday afternoon in Duluth. Damon Daniels was a passenger in a car with an expired tag that was pulled over on Pleasant Hill Road, Channel 2 Action News reported. McSwain said there was printing equipment and card stock in the car, and he expected that Daniels intended to print Super Bowl tickets. Daniels, 48 and from New York, was charged with conspiracy to commit wire fraud, wire fraud, conspiracy to traffic in counterfeit goods and trafficking in counterfeit goods.

Others were indicted in New York and Philadelphia for counterfeiting tickets to sporting events and concerts, including the NBA All-Star Game in New Orleans, the NCAA Football National Championship game in Atlanta and a Phish concert in Philadelphia.

“It’s ongoing,” McSwain said of the investigation. “We’re not done by a long shot.”