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Pittsburgh Tribune Review
Pittsburgh police busted four New York men accused of selling fake Penguins Stanley Cup playoff tickets after a month-long investigation, investigators said Friday.
The investigation netted 52 counterfeit tickets and more than $2,000, according to Public Safety Department spokeswoman Sonya Toler.
Taylor Williams, 28, Juan Ramirez, 19, Shawn Stewart, 18, and Gerald Vailes, 45, are all charged with forgery, theft by deception and trademark counterfeiting, court records show.
Police arrested Williams on May 15. He had been arrested on similar charges — forgery, theft, counterfeiting and possession of marijuana — on May 8. He was arraigned on those charges May 25.
According to the criminal complaint against Williams, the counterfeit tickets came to light May 1 when a man walked into the Zone 2 police station in the Hill District to report he'd been sold fake tickets.
Keith Juart told police he had met a man named Joseph Turner on Craigslist and agreed to buy four Penguins tickets for that night's game. He paid $425, according to the complaint, and a Ticketmaster receipt was included.
Juart told police he was denied entry to PPG Paints Arena because the tickets were void, according to the complaint.
A week later, a friend of Juart's recognized a man selling tickets at a Downtown intersection as the same person who sold the counterfeit tickets to Juart, according to police. The friend sent cellphone video of the man — later identified as Williams — to Juart, who confirmed it was the same person.
Police responded and arrested Williams, who had on him 29 Ticketmaster tickets and 10 Ticketmaster receipts, according to the complaint. Twelve tickets were for Penguins games and 17 for the Washington Wizards, and many tickets had duplicate section and seat numbers.
Ramirez, Stewart and Vailes were charged and rounded up Tuesday and Wednesday, according to court records.
All remain in the Allegheny County Jail unable to post bail.
Megan Guza is a Tribune-Review staff writer. Reach her at 412-380-8519, [email protected] or via Twitter at @meganguzaTrib.
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