Olympic Games - Olympic ticket fraudster jailed for 4 1/2 years

A ticket fraudster who swindled fans out of more than £50,000 for fake Olympics tickets has been sentenced to four and a half years in prison.

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The Olympic Athletics Stadium in Stratford, London

Samuel Ernest sold the tickets by claiming to be affiliated to a genuine ticket agency, Prestige Ticketing Limited, which organised hospitality packages for London 2012.

Victims of the 46-year-old, an American citizen of no fixed abode, even included a children's charity which raised £8,250 in a ticket auction. Ernest kept the money for himself, and no tickets were ever provided.

He set up victims by befriending women at speed dating sessions, then using their friends and contacts.

As well as fake Olympic tickets he also sold non-existent seats for other top sporting events, including the Champions League final.

Ernest admitted 17 charges of fraud at Kingston crown court, one of which involved possessing his twin brother's American passport.

Detective Superintendent Nick Downing said: "He is a serial fraudster and did not care who he ripped off.

"Some victims arranged accommodation and travel before realising they had been victims of a scam."

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