Dudley ticket fraudster fleeced music fans out of more than £4.5k
A fraudster who fleeced music fans out of thousands of pounds by selling fake concert tickets for big-name artists - including One Direction and Lady Gaga - has been warned he faces a prison sentence.
Matthew Thompson, of Dudley, sold non-existent tickets to gigs over the internet but after paying up his victims never heard from him again.
Wolverhampton Crown Court was told he was back to his old ways within weeks of receiving a suspended prison sentence for similar charges in 2013.
Thompson pleaded guilty to 12 specimen charges of fraud from an original list of 17. The court heard he also left fans of country artist Garth Brooks and singer Michael Buble out of pocket.
Mr Timothy Hannam, prosecuting, described the 36-year-old, who used websites such as Ebay and Gumtree to carry out the crimes, as a 'persistent' offender.
The case comes just a month after figures from the National Fraud Intelligence Bureau revealed that incidents of online ticket fraud rose by 55 per cent in 2015.
Thompson, of Tudor Vale, Upper Gornal, carried out the con between October 2013 and May 2014, making a total of £2,110 from his victims.
He asked the court to consider another 14 similar offences which took place between October 2013 to September 2015, making him a further £2,526 profit.
Mr Gurdeep Garcha, defending, said Thompson was 'well aware' he was going to prison having breached a 20-week jail term suspended for two years following his last court appearance in November 2013 for exactly the same ruse.
He said Thompson was suffering from mental health issues, including depression and anxiety, and was abusing alcohol 'to a significant degree.'
He asked for a medical report to assist in sentencing.
Thompson was last in court two and a half years ago when it was revealed how he promised tickets for some of the world's biggest live acts, including Rihanna and Take That, but failed to deliver.
Thompson disguised his identity with pseudonyms and used photographs of tickets taken off the internet to convince people he was genuine.
One victim who thought she was buying VIP tickets for a Take That concert was fleeced out of £825. Another buyer who questioned why tickets had not turned up was sent 'unpleasant' text messages. Thompson was caught after a police raid on his home in October 2011.
Some customers received a partial refund but due to his lack of assets he was ordered to pay back just £1 under the Proceeds of Crime Act.
The judge adjourned the case until June 10 for pre-sentence and medical reports to be prepared.
Thompson was granted unconditional bail.