Sports Ticket Scammer Busted - NBC Chicago

Sports Ticket Scammer Busted

Cheated victims out of thousands of dollars



    Celebrate This Holiday Season in Lively St. Charles

    An alleged sports ticket con man was arrested earlier this week after reportedly scamming seven people out of thousands of dollars for fake Blackhawks tickets.

    Joseph Richko, 26, was charged Tuesday with five felony counts of theft by deception after he placed advertisements on Internet sites that offered tickets for entertainment and sporting events.

    After contacting Richko, the victims met him at various locations and partially paid for the tickets, which were to be delivered at a later time.The first incident was reported in August 2008.

    “He had us sign ‘valid’ contracts, gave us a copy of his ID and his MGM players card,” said Theresa S., one of Richko’s victims who found his ad on Craigslist, but didn't want to be fully identified. “The contract looked legit, like an attorney wrote it, and he always answered the phone and replied to my text messages and phone calls.”

    Instead, after receiving the money, Richko would ignore victims’ messages and refuse to recontact them. Richko was wanted for outstanding warrants in three other Illinois counties when he was taken into custody Tuesday.

    Theresa was scammed out of $5,000 when she thought she was purchasing Blackhawks and Bears tickets. But before Richko started making excuses for why he never delivered the tickets, Theresa says he was very genuine and believable in person, not a guy you would suspect to be a scammer. 

    “He told us numerous times that the tickets were in the mail, but gave us fraudulent tracking numbers,” Theresa said. “I filed a lawsuit, but since he scammed multiple people, we’ll probably never get our money back. We want to let people know that scammers are out there and they need to be careful.” 

    Richko is scheduled to appear in Bond Court Thursday.