A Chicago White Sox ticket scam cost the team a little less than $1 million and resulted in two team employees being charged after a year-plus investigation.
The Chicago Sun-Times reported that a 20-page indictment, which became public Friday, found that former White Sox ticket sellers James Costello and William O’Neil funneled tickets to Bruce Lee. The 34-year-old Lee, a broker that owns Great Tickets, reportedly made $868,369 from the fraud, selling 34,876 tickets on StubHub during the 2016-2019 Major League Baseball seasons.
Lee reportedly faces 11 counts of wire fraud and two counts of money laundering, while the 66-year-old Costello has been charged with one count of wire fraud, and the 51-year-old O’Neil has been charged with lying to the FBI.
Costello allegedly used other employees’ identification codes to access White Sox computers, then recruited O’Neil to help with the scheme in 2017. O’Neil told the FBI in March that he never gave Lee complimentary tickets without the White Sox’s knowledge.
Lee sold tickets face value in an attempt to avoid detection, allegedly selling 6,323 in 2016, 17,408 in 2017, 11,115 in 2018 and 30 prior to the 2019 season.
The White Sox’s data analytics team flagged Lee for selling “more White Sox tickets than anyone else by a substantial margin,” noting that the second-highest seller of White Sox tickets sold 129 tickets in 2018.
The investigation found that 96 percent of the tickets Lee sold were complimentary tickets, which are not meant to be sold. A White Sox senior vice president reported Lee to the FBI in October 2018.
According to the Herald & Review, Lee pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor count of “selling tickets not in a box office” in 2017, for which he was sentenced to one day in jail.