A Croydon man has been found guilty of fraud after making thousands of pounds selling fake tickets to the 2011 Wimbledon Tennis Championships.
Bradley Laurence Roquette, 33, from Duppas Hill Road, was given an eight-month suspended sentence, 150 hours of community service and a serious crime prevention order which bans him from selling, distributing and transferring tickets to any major sporting event for the next five years.
He pleaded guilty to five counts of fraud at Southwark Crown Court in June. His conviction follows a police operation relating to fraudulent Wimbledon tickets worth over £2,200.
Roquette was caught following a partnership between the All England Lawn Tennis Club and the Metropolitan Police Service’s Operation Podium, a scheme set up to prevent the public from being victims of crime during the 2012 Olympic Games.
Detective Superintendent Nick Downing, from Operation Podium, said: “Roquette was responsible for producing a range of counterfeit tickets for both sporting and entertainment events.
“He duped many innocent fans into buying fake tickets, paying way over the odds for matches and concerts which they didn’t get to see.”
Roquette, an architecture student, made the fake tickets himself, adopting different identities online – often that of a middle-aged woman – to look like a more credible seller. He would then lie about why the woman could not be there and arrange to meet the buyers, where he would exchange the tickets for cash.
He was arrested after selling an officer a counterfeit ticket for the Women’s finals of this year’s Championship for £900.
Downing urged people only to buy tickets from official sellers. He said: “If you buy tickets from unofficial places you also run the risk of having your personal and credit card details stolen for use in other crimes.”
“Don’t let this happen to you. Only visit official sites for a list of genuine sellers who are authorised to sell legitimate tickets.”