Roslyn resident Jason Nissen pleaded not guilty last Tuesday to a charge related to allegedly running a $70 million ticket sales Ponzi scheme.
Court records show Nissen entered his plea after waiving a formal indictment before U.S. Magistrate Judge Gabriel Gorenstein in Manhattan federal court.
Nissen’s defense lawyer, Michael Bachner, said he is working toward a plea deal for his client, who is charged with wire fraud.
“It is Mr. Nissen’s intent to work out an amicable resolution, and we saw no reason to force the prosecutors to expend the time to go to a grand jury,” Bachner said in a statement.
Prosecutors allege that from 2015 to May 2017, while Nissen was the CEO of a Manhattan-based ticket broker, National Event Co., he defrauded lenders of millions of dollars.
The firm bought and sold many tickets, but millions of dollars allegedly were used to pay back investors and also were funneled to Nissen’s personal account.
In the $70 million Ponzi scheme, Nissen allegedly took money to buy and resell tickets to big sporting events such as the Super Bowl and NBA All-Star Weekend as well as the Broadway hit “Hamilton” – only to enrich himself and pay back others.
“They’re inflated numbers. We really had those events and really sold the tickets and they’re inflated, you know, two or threefold depending on how it was,” Nissen said in a taped conversation, according to the complaint.
On June 5, shortly after Nissen’s arrest, National Event Co. filed for bankruptcy, the Wall Street Journal reported. The company had thousands of creditors, less than $10 million in assets and as much as $50 million in liabilities. Company officials laid off all but six employees and closed its Hollywood office.